The Shabiha State Causes Horror – the Unraveling is sure to Speed Up.

The sectarian nature of the end-game is becoming ever more brutal and naked. The massacres at Houla and Mazraat al Kabir reveal the sectarian logic of the regime stripped down to its elemental barbarity. Bashar has nothing left but fear. Hafiz al-Assad build his state on traditional loyalties — family, village, tribe and sect — but he was scrupulous about building alliances to every segment of Syrian society. He exploited the anxiety of age-old historic grievances and religious distrust, but he was vigilant about keeping the hair of Muawiyya extended to all. With one hand he held the gun, but with the other he offered a carrot. Bashar has lost the ability to offer carrots. He has no future to promise, only the gun. The regime is left with only the ugliness and inadequacy of sectarian logic.

The revolutionary forces and the insurgency are rapidly become stronger according to this Wash Post article. They are getting better weapons, gaining experience, finding more support from external funders. Most importantly, however, Syrians have abandoned the regime in spirit, even if they have yet to defect in body. Sunni Syrians continue to go to work and turn up in their offices in the morning, but they hate the Assad regime in their hearts. Assad’s army is being taken over by shabiha and security forces manned by Alawites. The massacres leave no doubt about that. The Shabiha seem able to call in artillery bombardments before sweeping in.  They call themselves “Amn al-Assad,” Assad’s Security.

If you can withstand watching brutality, this 16 minute video taken by one of Assad’s security men on an operation in Hammameh outside Idlib, optimizes what is happening in the massacres that are now becoming a daily feature of this struggle. The security men kill 13 local fighters in Hammameh. When the killing is finished and the adrenaline is still pumping through the fighters’ veins, they do what one so often sees in these sorts of videos: the soldiers dehumanize and mock the dead, presumably to reassure themselves that they have done the right thing.  They cursing them and pick out the “guilty.” One soldier places his foot on the head of one of the corpses and speaks into the camera saying, “This one is the “mundess,” or interloper. We hear another say, “He is from Turkey.” The soldier speaks to the dead body and taunts him, asking, “What do you think of `Arour now?” `Arour is the Sunni Syrian Imam who appears regularly on Saudi TV to excoriate Alawites. He is most famous for saying that Alawite supporters of Assad will be ground into hamburger meat and fed to the dogs. Opposition demonstrators frequently chanted `Arour’s name, underlining the communal nature of this struggle. The soldiers drag the bodies into a house, presumably to hide them and perhaps to set them on fire, but we do not see that part. The soldiers call out to each other, cursing the dead and joking in what seems like a nervous effort to establish comradery and group affirmation for their grisly deed. They repeatedly intone “hayy Amn al-Assad,” or “Long live Assad’s Security.” They use each others names and photograph each others faces in an obvious sense of invincibility. One can only presume that when the Assad regime falls, as it must, they will become the hunted.

The revolution remains largely leaderless, which in some ways is its strength. For every opponent of the regime killed, several more pop up to take his place. The regime has been sowing dragon’s teeth. The revolution is popping up everywhere now. The heart of Damascus is now involved. When the merchants of Hamadiya – the main souq – go on strike, you know you have lost the conscience and heart of Damascus. The Sunni bourgeoisie has now turned on the regime.

The opposition is a long way from producing the sort of coordination and command that can march on the Presidential Palace, but today, one can imagine the day when it will summon the strength to do it. Alawites cannot rule Syria alone.

A Sunni friend in Aleppo writes four days ago:

Rockets are being fired from Aleppo on the villages north of us as I write this message to you. So far more than 25 and counting – actual rockets.

I asked “Will Assad be in power next year?” He replied:

“I know if I am alive by this time next year and if Bashar is still in power then I will be living outside Syria. If the regime were to prevail, then millions will be dying in his prisons. It will be only a matter of time before they will get to me. I think millions share my fear and they know there is no way back. So if no one steps in to stop him, we will be looking at a massacre after another.”

Syria’s Christians are torn between supporting and opposing the regime. Some believe that the regime must be stopped. They fear that as Sunnis are displaced and chased from their own homes that they will prey upon the weaker Christians, taking their homes and apartments. This is already happening in Homs and Wadi Nasara. (See note below) For this reason they blame Assad and want him stopped. Others remain loyal to the regime, believing that a Sunni victory will cause Christians to lose even more.

A friend from Wadi Nasara (The Christian Valley and Marmarita region just north of Lebanon and south of Homs) writes:

My wife is from a village in the Christian heartland of Syria, and her family is telling her and her sisters, the Syrian Army is pounding Aal’Hosn, the Crusader Castle, not far from their village, and also displaced Sunni’s have rented properties in a village not far from her’s called Mar Marita and are refusing to continue to pay rent or leave the village, and it’s creating tension among the villagers and the Sunni’s who moved in. I read your FP article and I understand your points, however, the killing needs to be stopped and although you make valid points for non-intervention, there are ways the world can slow down Assad’s killing machine, without getting involved with boots on the ground or Iraqi style…

this is rapidly evolving into a very clear sectarian war, in that the Alawite villages that surround certain Sunni villages, are taking revenge on the loved ones they have lost who were fighting for Assad….

My wife thinks unless something happens soon to stop Assad, and calm the nerves of the people who are clearly on high edge, the tit for tat vengeful killings will escalate, and soon it will envelope the Christians, as the Sunni’s are starting to quietly / not so quietly raise the rhetoric that the Christian silence is not so deafening to them, anymore…..

Like I said the other day, people renting homes to Sunni’s are now finding out they not only won’t leave, but now, it looks like a great many are not willing to continue to pay rent, telling the Christians, “if you want your money, go get it from your government”……wow…..how long does anyone think THAT, in itself, is going to last, before it explodes…?

A Christian from Marmarita in the Wadi Nasara (Christian Valley region just south of the Alawite mountains and north of Lebanon.)

…Over 40 young men (including a couple of doctors) from the Wadi area, we’re killed by the bearded men who are eager to give us democracy. In a few of these killing, they decapitated the bodies and severed limbs. In one occasion, they gave the body back to the family but kept the head and put it on top of a hill. They stood about a couple hundred feet and challenged anyone to come pick it up. Finally a guy drove his pickup truck in high speed and picked up the head under fire.
Here is another one: at one point, Crac de Chevaliers became a multinational hub of Afghani, Libyans and Lebanese bearded men. The Afghanis were actually non-threatening. But the two Arab groups had an argument as to which sheikh should rule the castle. There was a Libyan sheikh and a Lebanese one. A fire fight erupted, and a few martyrs died. Now the castle was finally cleaned up by the army. It turned out that the Lebanese sheikh was actually wanted in Lebanon for commuting several murders. He was caught alive. … This is the sad truth. The good news is that the security situation is steadily improving. The hope is that the refugees will return to their homes and start the rebuilding process…..
Most of them settled in Tartous, Latakia, Aleppo or Damascus. My sister made new friends from Homs, who only had their clothes and left everything behind. A few who are well to do rented shops and started their businesses (or clinics) there.
Another story:  my first cousin’s sister in law fled her house in bustan al deewan because of daily harassment by the militants from Baba Amr and al-khalideeah. A few weeks after she left, she called her own home number. A guy answers the phone. She asked who he is. He gave a name. She asked “what are you doing here”.  He said he lives there. She told him “but this is my house”.  He said “the priest of the local church gave it to me”.
The militants constantly drive through the area, and either fire shots in the air, or show their weapons. They have essentially settled in the empty houses. They only leave when the government forces kick them out, only to return later when the cat is away from the rat.
Churches are demolished inside. Anything of value is stolen. Things of little value are thrown on the street and destroyed.
A distant relative of mine (in his seventies) was shot in his leg. When his family tried to take him to a hospital, the long-bearded men didn’t allow them to touch him. He bled to death. He was from marmarita living in Homs.
Dera’a el-Balad is being pounded, so far over twenty dead. Reports of shelling into the city.
Syrian businessmen living abroad have created a $300 million fund to support rebels
DOHA | Wed Jun 6, 2012

Reuters) – Syrian businessmen living abroad have created a $300 million fund to support rebels fighting forces of President Bashar al-Assad, opposition activists said on Wednesday.

“This fund has been established to support all components of the revolution in Syria, and to establish a strong relationship with businessmen inside and outside Syria and to protect civilians,” Wael Merza, secretary general of the opposition Syrian National Council, told reporters in the Qatari capital.

Assad named a Baath Party stalwart to form a new government on Wednesday, signaling no political concessions to Syria’s 15-month-old uprising.

Merza said that half of the $300 million had already been spent, some of which were contributions to the rebel Free Syrian Army.

“The majority of support given (to the rebels) will be on the technical side,” Merza said. “It’s also logistical support to our people on the ground.”

“Yes, we supported the Free (Syrian) Army to protect civilians,” said Mustafa Sabbagh, president newly-formed Syrian Business Forum of businessmen in exile.

The fund will be based in Doha, Merza said

Merza said Russia’s call for an international meeting was “an acceptable move in the right direction.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for a broad international meeting on the crisis in Syria with the aim of reviving former United Nations chief Kofi Annan’s peace plan, but made clear he believed Assad’s opponents were responsible for its failure so far.

The Annan plan calls for a negotiated end to the Syrian crisis after a ceasefire that has yet to take hold. Merza hinted at strong financial support from oil-rich Gulf Arab states for the new fund. “We are going to see distinct support of this fund from neighbors in a very clear manner, in a matter of weeks. We expect Qatar to play a major role,” he said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal called on the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to put Annan’s plan under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, a measure that could authorize the use of force.

In northern Syria, rebels now control many towns and villages
By DAVID ENDERS, McClatchy Newspapers

QALAAT AL-MUDIQ, Syria — It’s been two months since anyone has seen a police officer in this central Syrian city

Though the Syrian military occupies an ancient citadel overlooking Qalaat al-Mudiq, it’s reached a truce with the Free Syrian Army rebel groups that control the city below. Residents and rebel leaders say the last time military forces attempted to enter the city was in March, but a pair of successful ambushes pushed them back to their base. The military doesn’t enter, shoot at or shell the town anymore, even though a rebel sniper recently killed a soldier who’d stood exposed too long in the citadel.

The Free Syrian Army, the moniker taken by most of the loosely organized militias that have taken up arms against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, kicked the police out of the city in September. The army tried to install a pair of police officers in the local station later, but the officers were promptly abducted by the rebels when the army withdrew. They were later released to their families after their families paid a ransom.

Amid a torrent of news coverage focused on massacres and sanctions, a major change in the Syrian political landscape has gone largely unremarked: All across northern and central Syria, in an area known as the al-Ghab Plain, a growing number of villages and towns effectively are outside government control.

In an area that stretches from the mountains around Jisr al-Shughour in the north to the town of Salhab in the south, and east to the highway that links the cities of Hama and Idlib, rebels administer justice and provide local services, including the distribution of cooking gas and food. A U.N. cease-fire that was supposed to begin in April has never really taken effect, but in these safe havens, rebel fighters and sympathizers live largely outside Syrian military intervention. Syrian troops who patrol nearby do so in armored vehicles because of the threat of roadside bombs and ambushes.

The safe space has allowed rebels to stockpile and manufacture weapons and hold prisoners. It also provides a base from which the rebels move into other parts of the country that until now have been relatively quiet.

That dynamic was on display as recently as Tuesday, when fighting broke out in al-Haffa, a town near the city of Latakia on the Mediterranean Coast. Latakia remains a government stronghold, but rebels have pushed out of their areas to challenge the government in villages around the city. Twenty-two government soldiers were reported killed in the al-Haffa fighting, and rebels who fought there before withdrawing to the al-Ghab area said they had freed prisoners, abducted police officers and bulldozed the local police station and secret police offices before withdrawing under an intense attack from helicopter gunships.

“The army only controls the area directly under their tanks,” said Mohanned al-Masri, a member of Ahrar al-Sham, one of the groups based in the al-Ghab Plain and the primary supplier of rebel fighters at al-Haffa. “Here, the regime has already fallen.”

Ahrar al-Sham also is manufacturing rockets in the area. “We are perfecting the accuracy now,” said Khalid al-Amin, the leader of Ahrar al-Sham in Qalaat al-Mudiq.

In this town, the array of rebel forces is on display – as are the differences among them.

Ahrar al-Sham draws its members from followers of a conservative strain of Islam known as Salafism; its followers see themselves as fighting in part for the right to preach their doctrine and the fall of a government that jailed them for doing so.

Another group, Suqor al-Ghab, the largest in Qalaat al-Mudiq, claims to be aligned with the largely secular Free Syrian Army leadership in Turkey. On Monday, its forces here were overseeing the distribution of cooking gas, which is in short supply across the country because of sanctions against Assad’s government.

The ironies of the ongoing war are also on display.

“I am still drawing my government check as a teacher,” said Mousab al-Hamadee, an anti-government activist here, smiling. The Syrian government continues to provide services such as electricity and water without interruption.

“Things are going on as usual, except that it became hard for Alawites to come to work,” said Amin, the Ahrar al-Sham leader, referring to members of the Shiite Muslim sect that also includes Assad. Ahrar al-Sham members, as Salafis, follow Sunni Islam. Amind said Alawites now fear retaliation from Sunnis for the support in Alawite villages for pro-government militiamen known locally as Shabiha.

On the outskirts of Qalaat al-Mudiq, fighters from Ahrar al-Sham lazily manned a checkpoint on the main road north to the city of Jisr al-Shughour, whose outskirts are also outside of government control. Rebels who’d crossed the Turkish border en route to Jisr al-Shughour last week said that the army is entirely absent from the area. The army holds the center of Idlib, the largest city in northwestern Syria, but the edges of the city and the surrounding areas belong to the rebels.

To the west of the checkpoint, nestled in the foothills of Latakia Mountain, the Free Syrian Army’s control becomes more tenuous, as the Sunni-dominated area gives way to a string of villages populated largely by Alawites. Al-Ramleh, a Sunni village to the west of here, had been largely emptied after the killings of a woman and four of her children by pro-government militiamen two weeks ago. Some months before, the nearby village of Tamana had suffered a similar fate, after a raid by the military and pro-government militiamen.

Nonetheless, the rebels feel the momentum is strongly in their favor. They say they are getting better weapons, including armor-piercing rocket-propelled grenade rounds, as the volume of arms being smuggled into Syria from Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey appears to have grown. Groups of fighters in the area are also building bombs and stockpiling small mortar rounds.

Amin said that Ahrar al-Sham and the other rebel groups are making plans soon to rid the city of the army’s presence. The cease-fire with the army would end in mid-June, he said, when the wheat crop had been harvested.

“There will be a big war,” he said.

Syria peace plan not working, U.N. envoy Kofi Annan says
Kofi Annan tells the United Nations that Syria is headed toward civil war. Diplomats consider involving Iran in negotiations with Bashar Assad’s government.
By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, June 7, 2012

….”We cannot allow mass killing to become part of everyday reality in Syria,” Annan said. …

Annan said that unless the fighting is halted, “all Syrians will lose.”….

U.S. and British officials have balked at any inclusion of Tehran, a staunch ally of Assad and the regional nemesis of the West. But Russia has backed the idea of an expanded meeting of nations that have influence with various factions in the 15-month-old uprising.

The forum being pushed by Moscow would include the five permanent members of the Security Council — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Syrian neighbors Turkey and Iran.

At the General Assembly on Thursday, Russia and China reiterated their support for the Annan peace plan but also reaffirmed their opposition to any solution involving military intervention in Syria or forced “regime change,” though both nations have said Assad’s survival is not a precondition if the Syrian people choose otherwise. The two powers have twice vetoed Security Council resolutions that condemned Assad’s crackdown on dissent and could have led to sanctions or other action against his government.

The United States and its allies, meantime, say Assad’s departure is a necessary outcome of any peace plan. The Obama administration is trying to persuade Russia to get aboard a plan similar to what happened in Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh was eased out of power and replaced by his former deputy after a year of protests.

The State Department’s special representative on Syria, Fred Hof, was in Moscow on Thursday for talks with the Russians, the department said. There was no immediate word of the outcome of those talks.

In Istanbul, Turkey, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made it clear that the Annan plan — with its call for a cease-fire and withdrawal of government troops and heavy weapons from populated areas — is only one part of what Washington and its allies seek. In addition, Assad “must transfer power and depart Syria” and an “interim representative government must be established through negotiation,” Clinton said.

“The time has come for the international community to unite around a plan for post-Assad Syria,” Clinton said after meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Although the Annan blueprint has widespread backing, the forced departure of Assad seemed to remain a red line for Russia and China…..

U.N. monitors shot at in Syria, Annan plan crumbles
8 Jun 2012

Reuters reports: U.N. monitors came under fire in Syria on Thursday while trying to investigate reports of a new massacre that raised the pressure on world powers struggling to halt the carnage and save a peace plan from collapse. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described as “unspeakable barbarity” the reported killing of at least 78 villagers […]

Foreign Policy

Russia has said it would support President Bashar al-Assad leaving power, but maintained that it can only be as part of a negotiated political settlement. However, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said the Yemen model, in which the 33-year dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, transitioned from power wouldn’t work in Syria because the opposition doesn’t have the political desire to negotiate, he claimed. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for a broader international meeting including Turkey and Iran to work to assist in furthering the peace process. After expelling several foreign diplomats on Tuesday, the Syrian government agreed to allow increased humanitarian assistance to reach one million people. Meanwhile over 60 people were reported killed on Tuesday, including 26 government forces, in clashes across the country. The coastal province of Latakia has seen two days of the fiercest attacks since the beginning of the uprising last year, with tank, gunship, and helicopter fire.

WHY A SYRIAN CIVIL WAR WOULD BE A DISASTER FOR U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY
By Robert Satloff of WINEP,  June 7, 2012

….If Syria descends into the chaos of all-out civil war, it’s not only Syrians who will lose out, as Annan suggests. Very clear American interests are also at stake.

Consider the many plausible scenarios that could yet transpire. They include:

* Syrian army units responsible for the control of the regime’s substantial chemical and biological weapons stocks leave their posts, either through defection, mutiny, attack from insurgents or orders from superiors to fight elsewhere, and these weapons of mass destruction go rogue.

* Syria lashes out at Turkey’s hosting of anti-Assad rebels by offering aid and comfort to a rejuvenated PKK insurgency against Ankara, reigniting a hellish Kurdish terrorist campaign that has claimed more than 30,000 Turkish lives over the past 30 years.

* Syria pushes hundreds of thousands of hapless Palestinians still living in government-controlled refugee camps over the Jordanian, Lebanese and even Israeli borders as a way to regionalize the conflict and undermine the stability of neighboring states.

* Syrian soldiers, Alawi thugs and their Hizbollah allies take their anti-Sunni crusade to the Sunnis of Lebanon, reigniting a fifteen-year conflict that sucked regional proxies — and U.S. Marines — into its vortex.

* Thousands of jihadists descend on Syria to fight the apostate Alawite regime, transforming this large Eastern Mediterranean country into the global nexus of violent Islamist terrorists.

None of this is fantasy. The threat of loose chemical and biological weapons tops the agenda of American and Israeli military planners.

swift and decisive action to hasten Assad’s departure is the best way to immunize against this set of terrifying outcomes. While Assad may unleash some of his fury in the face of assertive international action, chances are more likely that a clear display of resolve in support of the opposition is the key ingredient to fracturing his surprisingly resilient governing coalition and bringing the regime tumbling down.

Such resolve could include a mix of cyberwarfare, to interfere with Syrian government communications efforts; unmanned drones, to target key installations and weapons depots; air power, to establish and defend safe zones; and a manned element based in neighboring states, to execute a train and equip mission to support rebel forces. At the same time, it is essential that the United States, teamed with Arab, Turkish and other allies, inject urgency and energy into the task of upgrading the cohesion and message of the Syrian political opposition, so that there is a clear answer to the important question of what comes in the wake of Assad’s demise.

Even with all-out effort, a dose of realism is warranted. Syria is going to be a mess for years to come; a peaceful, inclusive, representative Syria anytime soon — one hesitates even to use the word “democratic” — is a fantasy. In a post-Assad world, inter-ethnic reconciliation will be an uphill battle, and the inclusion of some Islamists in a successor government is — regrettably, in my view — a necessary fact of Syrian life. Still, policymaking is often accepting bad outcomes when the alternatives are worse, especially when the worse outcomes have the potential to wreak havoc on American interests.

Russia to Talk Syria Transition With U.S. in Shift From Assad
2012-06-06, By Flavia Krause-Jackson and Henry Meyer

June 6 (Bloomberg) — As Syria slides toward civil war, Russia is signaling that it no longer views President Bashar al-Assad’s position as tenable and is working with the U.S. to seek an orderly transition A U.S. delegation headed by Fred Hof, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s special adviser on Syria, is scheduled to meet with Russian counterparts June 8 in Moscow. They will try to forge a common approach to moving Assad aside — or even out of the country — with a goal of replacing him with someone acceptable to both sides in the conflict, according to two U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Under newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin, an evolution from support for Russia’s main Mideast ally could break a diplomatic deadlock. Russia’s threatened veto in the United Nation’s Security Council has hobbled 15 months of international efforts to pressure the Assad regime with sanctions and other measures as the conflict deteriorated from peaceful protests into an armed conflict with sectarian undercurrents.

“In Moscow, they understand now that there is no chance of maintaining the status quo, they are looking at the question of a change of regime,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, an analyst with the Moscow-based Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. “The only thing that Russia can do is to try and keep some influence in Syria. A managed change of regime is the only option now.”

While the Russian government for the first time sees a change of government in Syria as possible via a series of steps, it remains adamant that the outcome not be imposed from outside, according to a Russian official not authorized to speak publicly on this matter.

Washington Post’s David Ignatius: Annan’s new road map for peace in Syria
2012-06-05

ISTANBUL Kofi Annan is tinkering with a radical idea for reviving his moribund peace plan for Syria — a road map for political transition there that would be negotiated through a “contact group” that could include, among other nations, Russia …

What’s intriguing about Annan’s new approach is that it could give Russia and Iran, the two key supporters of Assad’s survival, some motivation to remove him from power, and also some leverage to protect their interests in a post-Assad Syria. This would also make the plan controversial, with Israel and Saudi Arabia asking why the United Nations would give the mullahs in Tehran a share of the diplomatic action….

To break the deadlock, Annan would create his contact group, composed of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States), plus Saudi Arabia and perhaps Qatar to represent the Arab League, and Turkey and Iran. The idea is to bring together the countries with most influence on the situation.

This unwieldy group would then draft a transition plan and take it to Assad and the Syrian opposition. This road map would call for a presidential election to choose Assad’s successor, plus a parliamentary ballot and a new constitution — with a timeline for achieving these milestones.

Assad would presumably depart for Russia, which is said to have offered him exile; the Syrian dictator is rumored to have transferred $6 billion in Syrian reserves to Moscow already. Under this scenario, Assad presumably could avoid international prosecution for war crimes. Iran is also said to have offered exile to Assad and his family.

To contain the bloodletting that would follow Assad’s ouster, Annan is said to favor a detailed plan for reforming the security forces, similar to reforms in Eastern Europe after the fall of communism.

The Russians’ participation could help stabilize Syria during the transition, because they might get buy-in from the Syrian military, many of whose senior officers are Russian-trained. As Syria’s main weapons supplier, Moscow has, over many decades, developed and cultivated contacts throughout the regime power structure.

Would Russia or Iran support this unconventional proposal? It’s impossible to know. …

Damascus merchants put up shutters in challenge to Assad
Tuesday, 05 June 2012
Many Damascus merchants have closed their stores for a week in protest against the massacre of more than 100 people in Houla. (Reuters)
By REUTERS, DAMASCUS

In the biggest act of civil disobedience by Damascus merchants in Syria’s 15-month-old uprising, many stores have been closed for a week in protest against the massacre of more than 100 people in Houla on May 25.

The closures have affected districts all across the capital, from the Old City market to opposition areas where 70 percent of stores appeared shut despite what shopkeepers said were attacks and threats by security forces to force them to reopen.

“We want to participate in the strike but at the same time we are afraid of the reaction of the security police,” said Mohammed, who owns a clothes shop in the traditional al-Hamidiya souk – a long, covered walkway that cuts through the Old City.

Widespread closures in the capital, a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad, represent a major challenge to the Syrian leader and Mohammed said security forces had broken open his locked shop door a few days ago to intimidate him.

The Shabiha: Inside Assad’s death squads

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 10:55 AM PDT

The Telegraph reports: The door to Dr Mousab Azzawi’s clinic, on the Mediterranean coast of Syria, was always open to anyone who needed help. But, operating in the heartland of the feared Shabiha militia, there were some patients the doctor would have preferred not to treat. “They were like monsters,” said Dr Azzawi, who worked […]

Initially the Shabiha were a mafia clan, making money through racketeering. Selma, the Alawite with Shabiha family, said her cousins were “filthy rich” through smuggling in diesel, milk and electronics. “Anything to Lebanon that is cheaper in Syria, and whatever is needed in Syria from Lebanon,” she said.

The ruling Assad family turned a blind eye to their criminal behaviour and violent methods. In return, the Shabiha became the Assads’ fiercely loyal defenders and enforcers.

“They are fuelled by this belief that they are fighting for their survival,” said Dr Azzawi. “Assad tells them that they must defend the government or else they will be destroyed; it’s kill, or be killed.”

Dr Azzawi, who now runs the Syrian Network for Human Rights from London, showed The Sunday Telegraph a video of the Shabiha in action.

An enormous man, identified on the video as Areen al-Assad – a member of the president’s family clan – posed with his gun, grinned from the steering wheel of his car, and flexed his muscles. His huge bicep bulged with a tattoo of the president’s face.

At the end of the video, the posturing Shabiha militants proclaim: “Bashar, do not be sad: you have men who drink blood.”

“It is their motto,” explained Dr Azzawi, who said that many of the men were recruited from bodybuilding clubs and encouraged to take steroids. “They are treated like animals, and manipulated by their bosses to carry out these murders. They are unstoppable.”

Intervention in Syria: Reconciling Moral Premises and Realistic OutcomesBy Eva Bellin and Peter Krause

Iran has serious strategic interests in the survival of the Assad regime and so is unlikely to be persuaded to abandon it. But Iran’s capacity to sustain the regime is limited given its own economic difficulties. By contrast, China’s economic interests in Syria are not substantial; its support for the Assad regime stems primarily from irritation at U.S. moves in East Asia, along with a perceived stake in defending the principle that external forces ought not to intervene to settle the course of domestic conflicts. If it were isolated from Russian backing, China’s stance could be budged. The key obstacle to choking the Syrian regime is Russian support, and here close attention to Russia’s key concerns suggest the means for separating it from Assad. Russia has stood by the Assad regime for three reasons: to uphold the principle of “non-interference” in domestic insurgencies; to protect Russia’s economic and military interests in Syria (control of Tartous; a market for Russian arms; the extension of Russian naval power in the region); and to assert Russia’s standing as a great power in world affairs (even if that is measured simply by its ability to stick it in the eye of the United States).

If the international community wants to choke off Russian support, it has to take Russia’s interests seriously and show Russia, as Steve Walt has suggested, that regime change in Syria will not compromise Russia’s core interests. To the contrary, Russia needs to be persuaded that continuing to subsidize the Assad regime is much more dangerous for Russia, since prolonged civil war might very well lead to a collapse of the state and create a political vacuum in Syria that would not serve Russia’s foreign policy interests. Not only might Russia be persuaded to give up opposing regime change in Syria; it might be encouraged to take the lead in overseeing such regime change—and even might be permitted to take credit for that outcome. By shepherding the process and taking ownership of regime change in Syria, Russia could protect its core economic and military interests and confirm its standing as a major power shaping world affairs. To this end, negotiations with the Syrian opposition could perhaps take place in Russia—or, if that is not possible, at least under Russian sponsorship….

Andrew Sullivan – Syria’s Russia Problem

A turning point in Lebanon
The open invitation Syria once had to dictate its will in the country has ended, much to the dismay of Hizbullah
By Sami Moubayed | June 5, 2012, Gulf News

Lebanese President Michel Sulaiman’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, his meeting with King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and his lunch with Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal speaks volumes about how Lebanon is struggling to escape Syrian tutelage at a time when pro-Syrian Lebanese parties are aggressively trying to drag Lebanon into Syria’s current mess. Had Syrian officials got their way, then this meeting would have never happened at a time when Syrian-Saudi relations are at an all-time low. Syrian officialdom, no doubt, would have preferred that the Lebanese President visit Damascus instead to hammer out the recent crisis in Lebanon — as customarily done since 1975.

The luncheon hosted by the Saudi minister, which was attended by ex-prime minister Sa’ad Hariri, was also a source of alarm for the Syrians, and of course, so was Prime Minister Najeeb Mikati’s visit to Istanbul where he discussed the Lebanon file with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The declared objective of the Lebanese-Saudi Summit was to prepare for the National Dialogue Conference that Sulaiman had called for at Baabda Palace, which is due to kick off on June 11. This is aimed at preventing Lebanon from sinking into sectarian strife after deadly fighting took place in Tripoli between the Jabal Mohsen neighbourhood, which is pro-Syrian regime, and the Sunni Bab Al Tabbaneh neighbourhood, which supports the Syrian revolt. From Saudi Arabia, Sulaiman headed to Kuwait, another Gulf country that has turned against the Syrian regime over the past year, with the aim of convincing its leaders to revoke their travel warning to Lebanon, ahead of the summer season that is reliant on Gulf tourists.

Coinciding with the Lebanese president’s efforts was a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, on the 23rd anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, delivered at the Unesco Palace. Earlier last week, Nasrallah had shown rather striking moderation, thanking his political opponent Hariri — rather than bashing him as Hezbollah has customarily done — while calling on his followers to refrain from street violence after the abduction of 11 Lebanese hostages, all Shiite pilgrims, in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. On Friday, however, Nasrallah addressed the captors — without identifying them — saying military action was an option if a peaceful solution was not found for the crisis. The National Dialogue, which was called for by Saudi Arabia, was accepted by Hezbollah, and Nasrallah even went a step further, hoping that no party would boycott it. Then came the clashes on Saturday, between pro-Syrian and anti-Syrian Lebanese, which left at least 15 people dead and which threatened to bring all reconciliation attempts back to square one.

All of this means something remarkable is happening in Lebanon and it plays out in favour of the Lebanese, if invested in wisely. The open invitation Syria once had to dictate its will on Lebanon has apparently come to an end, much to the dismay of Hezbollah and its allies. What then will the Lebanese discuss at the National Dialogue Conference and to what extent — if any — does Syria want this conference to succeed if it won’t have a final say on its outcome? The list of “high-priority topics” is long indeed. They have the hostages to deal with, the security situation in Tripoli, the distance from Syria that the international community is imposing on the Lebanese state, the future of the Najeeb Mikati cabinet, Lebanon’s controversial electoral law and, of course, the issue of Hezbollah’s arms.

Near paralysis

An estimated 60 to 70 per cent of the country’s public posts are vacant, leading to a near paralysis of the state, as most of these appointments have to abide by the delicate rules of sectarianism and political affiliations between Hariri’s March 14 and Hezbollah’s March 8 Coalition. In the past, Syria used its influence in Lebanon to make sure that Hezbollah’s arms were not mentioned at any Lebanese round-table talks, but today it no longer has the leverage to make things happen at will in Lebanon. No dialogue would be complete if Hezbollah’s arms are not on the table, and no reconciliation is possible in Lebanon if these arms remain autonomous from the Lebanese state, regardless of what Syria and Iran want for Lebanon.

This is a golden opportunity for Lebanese political figures to sit down and solve their problem just like the Palestinians did in early 2011, when they invested in the reality that both Egypt and Syria — the traditional patrons of Hamas and Fatah respectively— were too busy to meddle and obstruct the internal politics of the Palestinians. The real problem for the Palestinians was Syria and Egypt, not Fatah and Hamas. As a result, freed from outside Arab pressure, the Palestinians struck a historic deal, and the Lebanese can (if they pull the right strings) do the same next week at Baabda. Lebanon deserves a better future, no doubt, and that can only happen if and when its politicians start acting as Lebanese statesmen, rather than proxies or stooges for the Saudis, Iranians and Syrians.

Sami Moubayed is a Syrian historian, 
university professor, and editor-in-chief of 
‘Forward’ magazine.

Syria – the murder of tolerance
Eliot Benman in Your Middle East, June 4, 2012

The Al-Assad regime chooses to hold the highest contempt for a society that they themselves created, rather than trying genuinely to better that society. They willfully ignore the correlation between political, economic, and cultural oppression and the development of religious conservatism and radicalism, to their own benefit – or downfall. …. a sense of abandonment among the opposition has made Syria fertile ground for extremist ideologies.

Meanwhile, after egging on protesters and militants with empty rhetoric and sanctions, the so-called Friends of Syria continue pursuing flawed diplomatic solutions while trying to determine the merits of international intervention in its various potential forms. Policymakers must realize that in the time it takes them to ponder – the length of an electoral season perhaps – the Syrian regime’s brutality is creating a whole new generation of religious extremists.

When Syria becomes a hotbed of Islamist terrorism and radicals begin pouring from this once beautiful country into the rest of the region and beyond, Westerners will stand morally outraged at the ensuing atrocities and ask the inane question “why do they hate us?”

The answer on many lips will be “because they hate our freedom”, but the correct answer is: we failed to uphold theirs.

Comments (236)


Uzair8 said:

“Syrians have abandoned the regime in spirit, even if they have yet to defect in body.”

June 9th, 2012, 1:09 pm

 

Altair said:

I have been torn for months about what to believe about the regime and in particular, the head of the regime. I watched the full version of the interview with Barbara Walters. I watched speeches. I just found it hard to believe that this is the kind of man who would order mass killings. He is humble and soft-spoken. He even admits (in the Walters interview) that the majority of the population don’t support him but aren’t against: they are in the middle.

If he is capable of ordering the brutality we are now hearing about, then he is a master of deception.

I’ve heard some theories that the president is not in full control of his forces. I’ve heard others that he actually is, and I’ve heard yet another that he is the reluctant one to crack down with an iron fist, yet another that his mother or other family members convinced him to be harsher.

With all these theories, it’s not difficult to get confused by the situation. So I ask the question, albeit belatedly, is this a president fully committed to such a harsh crackdown? I’d love to hear some thoughtful opinions, whether sympathetic or not.

Syria is going down a very rough path, and we need to understand why this happening to a country famed for its warm and hospitable people.

June 9th, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

zoo said:

After a top State Department official visited Moscow, hopes dwindle for Russia to change its stances

In Its Unyielding Stance on Syria, Russia Takes Substantial Risks in Middle East
By ELLEN BARRY
Published: June 8, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/09/world/middleeast/in-stance-on-syria-russia-takes-substantial-risks.html?_r=1

On Friday,, presumably seeking to persuade the Kremlin to reconsider its stance and contribute to an effort to engineer a transition from the rule of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, a longtime Russian ally. In remarks after the meeting, Russia’s top negotiator was implacable, telling a reporter that Moscow’s position was “a matter of principle.”

Russia’s leaders have said repeatedly that their goal is to guard against instability, not to support Mr. Assad. They have signaled that Russia would accept a change of leadership in Syria, but only if devised by Syrians and not imposed from outside, an unlikely prospect in a country riven by violence.
….
The uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were portrayed in Russia as largely organic, driven by young people frustrated by their economic prospects. But the Syrian conflict is seen completely differently, as orchestrated by other countries in the West and the Arab world and aiding the rise of radical Islam.

Mr. Bogdanov put the onus for the continuing violence on opposition forces and foreign countries, which, he said, “flirt with extremists and radicals of various kinds for the purpose of achieving their own goals.” Asked what would happen if international forces intervened without a mandate from the United Nations Security Council, he said it would be “a disaster for the entire Middle East region.”

June 9th, 2012, 1:21 pm

 

Ghufran said:

A lot to read, thanks for taking the time to pick and post those articles,Joshua.
Christians know that they will not be the prime targets of the angry mobs after the fall of the regime but they are not willing to live in a failed poor state that is hostile to minorities. Christians in Syria,like many Syrians,hate the regime but they hate what might be coming even more,what they see now,especially in Homs ,sealed their case,a friend said that this is now the Syrian Islamic revolution,I am sure he meant Sunni but wanted to be PC.
The story is different for alawites,many are convinced that they will be slaughtered if the regime falls,and others are afraid that the herd mentality that takes over angry crowds in times like these will result in a wave of collective punishment against alawites regardless of what they did or who they are,Ghalioun in one dumb statement ‘”assured” Syrians that alawites have nothing to fear except that they will not be accepted to serve in the army or security forces (!!).
Like most revolutions,the poor pay and opportunists get paid, nobody from the ruling family or their buddies died or sent their kids to die,it is the poor alawites who are dying,what the regime started will be finished by the armed rebels with monetary support from the GCC and rich Syrians who also are not dying and not sending their kids to fight but feel qualified to incite violence and call for a civil war,it is easy to call for necks to be severed if you do not have a neck.
Without a compromise now,the future looks bleak for Syria,a victory for the armed rebels will only mean a new counter insurgency and long years of blood shed,and keeping the regime in place can only lead to a full scale civil war,my own sense is that nobody wants to save Syria except Syrians who have no influence on the ground,the country is doomed.

June 9th, 2012, 1:33 pm

 

bronco said:

Russia looks beyond Syria.

The wave of condemnation and the succession of reported “massacres” seem to show an acceleration of the forced regime plan the Western countries have sought from the start of the uprising.

Reports keep repeating that the FSA is now stronger then ever, that since Damascus is every night shaken by sound bombs and fights, the Syrian army is weaker and now us using its secret militias to do the job of killing whole villages to create ‘fear’.
The reports are that the economy is diving and even the Sunni merchants are turning against the regime.

All is gloom, yet Russia stays on its course, repeating that it is a plot and that the opposition supported by foreign states with their own agenda, having failed in rallying demonstrations, are resorting to create fear and chaos by encouraging sectarian vendetta.

The Western countries, ally to Israel and enemies of Iran have an excellent motivation to finish with a regime that has for long time resisted the Western influence in the region and is standing along with Iran.

But what is the motivation of Russia in engaging its long term reputation just because of a regime and a man? Are they blind or are they aware that the Western plan is not about Syria?

The Russian know the Middle East much better than the USA does. They know what they are doing. The end of the USA influence in the region is getting closer with the growing reign of anti-western, anti-Israel Islamic regimes in the region. It is a matter of time that these new republics, deceived by the USA and EU’s blind support to Israel will turn to Russia as their main ally.

By defending the last strong bastion of resistance to the USA and Israel in the Arab world, and showing its faithfulness to its allies, Russia is looking to be rewarded in the future.

June 9th, 2012, 1:42 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Zoo said
“Most wars stops either if there is a winner or when the two exhausted parties realize there cannot be a victor. ( WW2 and Iran-Iraq war)”
Your example is far from the truth, US,England and France Won,they won the war and Germany surrendered,it was not because of exhaustion.

Mr. Landis
It is clear that Bashar is losing more and more,day by day, but he still has 1 million Alawite with him, the Christians,if they want to live with peace in Syria,they will have one choice,Michael Kilo,George Sabra made the right choice and many will follow them. No reasonable person likes to see massacres and hear bombs.and can’t find food and other necessities.we all have kids.
the time for Hafez is different from the time for Bashar, media and phones and images from the sky,are available, you can not hide.
It will get uglier before it gets better.

June 9th, 2012, 2:07 pm

 

Dr. Ali Kamil said:

I wonder how joshua mentions what Arour said when inciting against Alawites, and still blame the regime for the sectarian nature of the struggle. I would like to refer Mr. Landis to this video, recorded back in March 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUu-yGTQW00
If he spoke Arabic, he would hear protesters chanting against Shiaa. This was the first week of the crisis. Was the regime behind this Joshua?
I am disappointed that a brilliant mind like you would fall into this media trap.

June 9th, 2012, 2:21 pm

 

Hopeful said:

Altair #2

I, too, have come to the conclusion that Bashar is either the master of deception, or is utterly unaware of the reality of the situation. I believe it is the latter. History is full of examples of powerful men in leadership positions who were oblivious to their shortcomings and failures.

Bashar’s problem is similar to anyone who has been handed a leadership position without earning it. He does not have the legitimacy nor the qualities to be a leaders, so he compensates by seeking to come across as intelligent and knowledgable. His speeches sound like lectures, management classes, political science lessons, etc. In the first 30 mins of his latest speech, he sounded like a teacher who was teaching the new congressmen about their roles (and not a very good one, he tends to over complicate matters so that he sounds smarter).

On top of that, Bashar seems to truely believes in conspiracies, which makes it harder for him to make friends and figure out how to deal with the west and neighboring countries. It also makes it easier for the hard-core ideologists surrounding him, and the other people around him who are benefiting from the status quo, to convince him to stay firm and not seek compromise, which means the end of their ideology and privileges.

Then there is the “we know it all and we do not need your advice” attitude. Because Syria is the cradle of civilization, and because we are the decendent of the Arabs, then we must know everything there is to know about how to build modern societies. This attitude made him ignore help and advice from his old friends like the Turks, or demonize anyone who seeks to improve his country by seeking advice from the outside. In his view, to partner with a weston country is to become an agent of that country.

The worst part though is that he may believe that it is his calling to “save” Syria from the conspiracy against it, and he is the only person who can do that now.

Bashar maybe a good and a sincere person at heart. He may mean well. Only God knows his true intentions. But all of that is irrelevant now. To save Syria is to have a new leadership who knows how to unit the country, rally the world to its support, and lead us of this mess. He cannot do that.

June 9th, 2012, 2:38 pm

 

S.A. said:

To Joshua,

I must admit that I was alarmed at your latest article on SC because it sounded like you have a very clear picture of what’s taking place in Syria right now. I think that you have only presented one side of the story.

I know people who have very clear accounts and even names of people who were killed, kidnapped, murdered and raped by the so-called revolutionaries or ‘rebel armies’. They are targeting Alawites for just being Alawites. There are detailed accounts of people who had relatives’ bodies returned to their families after being mutilated in the worst form. This and the assassination of the Alawite educated elite from prominent families has continued up till now. There are clear accounts of this and of people who know families who have been affected. The style of these attacks is very similar to the assassinations that took place in Syria in the 1980s when the Muslim Brotherhood tried to rebel against the government and were crushed.

Common sense tells us that there is no reason for the government troops to kill women and children from the villages. It is obvious that what’s happening now is a sectarian tit-for-tat war which is similar to what happened in the former Yugoslavia.

People who I have been able to talk to in Syria are very anxious that the ‘rebels’ stop the violence and fighting the government. And also yes what is being done inside Syria is terrorism and nothing less. I know families whose children on school busses barely missed the bombs that were targeting government buildings. Is this killing children on the way to school a tactic to fight for democracy? Friends in Syria ask the question “what is the government supposed to do to protect us from terrorism?” They say that the government has a duty to protect its citizens from terrorist acts.

Regardless of how the conflict started and who was to blame for it, what’s happening now is the start of a sectarian civil war. Putting the blame on the government and the Shabiha only is very one sided and does not portray the whole truth. This conflict is far more complicated than the way it is described in this article. I know that we are all looking for answers and a simplistic way of understanding this complicated and tragic situation, but it is very unfair to put the blame on one side only.

June 9th, 2012, 3:03 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

An update on Sh. Yaqoubi’s twitter directed us to a new statement on facebook. Google translation of the arabic statement:

What have we done to save the people killed
Sheikh Muhammad Abul Huda Al Yacoubi

Steadfast to our people in Syria … The sectarian system the offender is trying to exterminate the population of cities and villages in the Sunni Homs, Hama, Latakia and works to scare people with murder, rape and burning people alive and the demolition of houses and the bombing of residential areas with artillery and rockets. The provisions of the religion and the principles of morality and human brotherhood, we had to loot all for the defense of our brothers in these areas by all means of peaceful and military to thwart the planned system. The rights of our brothers we have in these affected areas that the looting of relief and help to ease the pain of living by collecting donations and provide food and medicine to the needy and shelter for the displaced.

We reiterate the call for soldiers and officers in the Syrian Arab Army must dissent and disobeying the orders of the leadership. The army can not fight the enemy of the homeland, but kills people and destroys the country. The people who take up arms in the face of the system have no connection with terrorism and had no connection to extremism,…

Read more:

https://www.facebook.com/shaykhabulhuda/posts/10150944108987580

Twitter:

http://twitter.com/#!/Shaykhabulhuda

June 9th, 2012, 3:18 pm

 

Karabennemsi said:

@ majefkhaldoun

Your statement about ww2 is only partly right, you left out russia, which was obviously at least as victorious the US, and France lost the war and its former standing as one of the mightiest societies.

June 9th, 2012, 3:52 pm

 

omen said:

pbs newshour

Inside Syria: Who Arms the Rebels?
In any revolution, getting weapons is a key challenge. Syria’s rebels have found an interesting solution.

As they loaded the store room with new bullets and rocket-propelled grenades, Hamza Fatahallah, an army defector who joined the Free Syrian Army nine months ago, described the transaction that had taken place.

“We have caught many army prisoners,” he said. “We send them back home for a small amount of money on the condition they do not return to the regime. We use the money to buy weapons.”

For the release of this prisoner, Ahmed Haseeba, the group received $500. With this money, Fatahallah said they were able to buy ammunition from their main supplier: Syria’s national army, also known as the enemy.

This strange cycle of exchanging prisoners for weapons has been playing out between rebel forces and President Bashar al-Assad’s army since the beginning of the revolution.

Fatahallah estimated that his village purchased 40 percent of their weapons from the regime. Prisoner exchanges have so far contributed almost $80,000 toward weapons purchases, he said. And they obtain an additional 50 percent of their weapons during battle. The remaining 10 percent are donated and smuggled from outside the country, or are purchased from private merchants, mostly from Iraq.

[…]

For the regime, or at least the duplicitous members of it, supplying the enemy is a big business. Government officers also sell Kalashnikov bullets, which typically sold for less than 40 cents before the uprising, for about $4 each, according to Ahmed Al Sheikh, the leader of the armed opposition in Jabal al-Zawiya. He leads about 6,000 men from eight battalions that are collectively known as the Sham Falcons.

Kalashnikovs are bought for about $1,000, he said. Rocket-propelled grenade launchers, complete with a set of four rockets, cost up to $4,000, as does a BKT machine gun.

“These officers sell to us not because they love the revolution but because they love money,” Al Sheikh said of his chain of suppliers. “Their loyalty is to their pockets only, not the regime.”

While most of the sellers are corrupt officers, they said lower ranking soldiers have occasionally stolen supplies from government weapons storage and sold them to the rebel forces.

June 9th, 2012, 3:55 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

You said 

“The Russian know the Middle East much better than the USA does…the  end of the USA influence in the region is getting closer with the growing reign of anti-western, anti-Israel Islamic regimes in the region. It is a matter of time that these new republics, deceived by the USA and EU’s blind support to Israel will turn to Russia as their main ally.”

I find this above statement contradicting the following statement in your post.  The Revolution was always accused of hiding Islamic agenda.  Russia then should just sit tight, allow this allegedly *Islamic* revolution to topple Bashar and take power, which will then turn to Russia as its main ally like its sisters revolutions, Why would Russia then care to keep the regime?

According to the logic above, whether it is Bashar or Islamists, Russia is a winner so why bother?

June 9th, 2012, 4:28 pm

 

Hans said:

It is very hard to understand the tactical play of the USA in the world; in the 80’s the MouJahidins in Afghanistan supported by the CIA against the Russians became the ALqaida who continues to destroy the west through both soft and hard Jihad.
The american’s drones doesn’t miss an opportunity to haunt this people and their off spring. Afghanistan is a failed state at the current time, girls are burned with acid because they go to school.
In Iraq, the USA supported Saddam for years against Iran then turned against him, destroyed Iraq and left it as failed state.
Japan was destroyed in WW2 and was rebuilt with the help of the Americans.
Which way Syria will go in the future after Assad is toppled, is it going to be the new Japan or same like Afghanistan!
the difference between the two scenario is that with Japan there was no religious war against the USA.
The arab spring is overtaken by the radical theology of Islam therefore it would be plausible that the american drones will be haunting the one it is supporting at the current time.
USA owned Afghanistan after the Russian withdrew and the failure of the USSR, but failed to turn it into a democratic or progressive state.
I doubt that Afghanistan is any better off now than it was 30 or so years ago and personally, i don’t think the USA stands any better in the world than 30 years ago.

I am worried this is the future of Syria under the radicals who are supported in full by the USA.
I still can’t answer the question what’s in for the USA to support radical theology then attack it with drones or by having boots on the ground, any thoughts Mr. Landis!

June 9th, 2012, 4:36 pm

 

Alan said:

I had an impression that article the highest carries hostility for the Syrian being! it is possible to consider it as the official report about a course of earlier prepared plan! Awfully! all is painted favourite colors which will calm soul of Mister Landis! Must be Shame for all westerns mentioned dirty game players ! already Gin is let out from a jug! and results of outstanding American schedulers wait in Oklahoma!

June 9th, 2012, 4:52 pm

 

habib said:

“Christians know that they will not be the prime targets of the angry mobs after the fall of the regime”

Why does everyone think the Alawites will somehow lie down to be slaughtered if the regime falls? They’ll keep on fighting forever, with the same weapons they have now. Their numbers are irrelevant, just see how the outnumbered Alawites in Tripoli have kept thousands of Salafist at bay for decades.

June 9th, 2012, 4:54 pm

 

Jasmine said:

To Hans @14
It is so easy to understand the American policy:it is a short term selfish act, reactionary ,impulsive,built on immediate interest and lack any political vision,moral or principles and led by Narcissist leaders and manipulated by few arm dealers and corrupt corporate seniors.

June 9th, 2012, 4:58 pm

 

Alan said:

14. HANS :
excuse for weak knowledge of English and that didn’t suffice me Russian of mother F-R 🙂

June 9th, 2012, 5:01 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

#12 Omen

Sham Falcons
8 Battalions
6000 men

Sounds cool!!

June 9th, 2012, 5:03 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

#18 ALAN

Recently I suspected you may be Master Yoda. Your exchange with Hans Solo in #18 only increases my suspicions.

Serious this comment is not.

June 9th, 2012, 5:07 pm

 

Alan said:

don’t write off to judge the religious master!

June 9th, 2012, 5:15 pm

 

Hans said:

Jasmine well said, except you forgot to mention the Jewish lobby which runs the internal and the foreign policy of the mighty USA.
It is not decided if the Jewish lobby will reelect Mr. O for a second term or will ditch him as his role in destroying the USA and the rest of the world is over.

June 9th, 2012, 5:17 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Could not be best explained in a few words:

¨(Hafez Al Assad) … With one hand he held the gun, but with the other he offered a carrot. Bashar has lost the ability to offer carrots. He has no future to promise, only the gun. The regime is left with only the ugliness and inadequacy of sectarian logic.¨

Thank you once again.

Those of us living in Damascus when the revolution started knew for years, exactly from summer 2001, that this was happening and that Bashar had nothing new to offer but a disaster.

June 9th, 2012, 5:21 pm

 

Hopeful said:

Jasmine #17

IMHO – Half of what you said about the American policy is accurate:

“it is a short term selfish act, reactionary ,impulsive,built on immediate interest and lack any political vision”

The other half is not:

“lack any moral or principles and led by Narcissist leaders and manipulated by few arm dealers and corrupt corporate seniors.”

American foreign policy actually does have very strong principles guiding it: support of American values and interests, which are typically aligned with the interests of large multinational corporations. US values of open markets, open economies, democracy, freedom, small government, independent media, stability of markets, etc., all work well in favor of business and less in favor of ANY national ideology, religion, etc. It is only in situations where American interests are at conflict with its values do we find inconsistencies in its policy and behavior.

I also would never describe American leaders as Narcissist or corrupt. It is very easy to also understand their motives: winning elections. Period. The best way to make sure the US is on your side is to win the American public opinion. Easier said than done, but it can be done!

June 9th, 2012, 5:22 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

16. HABIB,

Please stop playing the fear card. The game is over and the sectarian fears will disappear with Assad II. We the christians are well known by our neighbours and they will be the first to protect us. They know christians were not responsible for bribery, abuses and tortures FOR 40 YEARS.

I, as a christian have an absolute respect for islamic population of Syria and I have faith on them and trust in their values.

We are not in medieval times nor we are in 1860. People is much better informed than in the past.

June 9th, 2012, 5:27 pm

 

Jasmine said:

Hans @22

Thank you.
you said:
“It is not decided if the Jewish lobby will reelect Mr. O for a second term or will ditch him as his role in destroying the USA and the rest of the world is over.”
I think that:
Whoever is going to be elected next,he or she will be moulded accordingly, to fit the future demands of the god chosen nation.

June 9th, 2012, 5:32 pm

 

omen said:

14. HANS said:
It is very hard to understand the tactical play of the USA in the world; in the 80′s the MouJahidins in Afghanistan supported by the CIA against the Russians became the ALqaida who continues to destroy the west through both soft and hard Jihad.

far be it for me to defend u.s. dirty actions (our hands are filthy) but in this regard, according to former officer and analyst pat lang, your version of history isn’t correct:

The groups we [the u.s.] supported were defeated by the Taliban in the civil war that followed Soviet withdrawal. The Taliban and Usama bin Laden were supported by the separate “Sayyaf” group of Mujahideen supported by Saudi Arabia and Deobandi fanatics in Pakistan.

June 9th, 2012, 5:37 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

“Bashar has lost the ability to offer carrots.”

Rabbit of Golan! No carrots to offer!?!
The sanctions must be more effective than we thought.

June 9th, 2012, 5:42 pm

 

Hopeful said:

Hans #22

There is no such a thing as a “Jewish lobby” in the US. There are, however, over 30+ “Jewish-related” political organizations in the US whose job is to influence US policy to advance their interests and causes. Some of them are advocates for the state of Israel, others have nothing to do with the state of Israel.

The reason US policies are typically pro-Israel is that the US public opinion is pro-Israel. Until that changes, any US elected or would-be-elected leader, whose main goal is to win elections, will always express pro-Israeli opinions.

June 9th, 2012, 5:46 pm

 

jna said:

Looks incriminating for the regime forces.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/06/08/151723/survivor-says-slaughtered-syrian.html

Joshua Landis states his assessment: “The massacres at Houla and Mazraat al Kabir reveal the sectarian logic of the regime stripped down to its elemental barbarity. Bashar has nothing left but fear.”

Time for the regime to leave.

June 9th, 2012, 5:49 pm

 

Stick to the truth said:

The last posting by Mr. Joshua Landis revealed the ugly sectarian of SC.

Sorry Mr. Landis, you have lost your credibility.

June 9th, 2012, 5:57 pm

 

Jasmine said:

to hopeful @24
you said:
It is only in situations where American interests are at conflict with its values do we find inconsistencies in its policy and behaviour.

I say:
It is easy to preach than to practice and their written policy is so different than the applied one(ask the occupiers of wall street).

you said:
It is very easy to also understand their motives: winning elections.
I say:
Is this a moral motive?and why do they change once they are elected?

June 9th, 2012, 6:00 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

#30 JNA

Welcome to the Opposition! 🙂

June 9th, 2012, 6:03 pm

 

Tara said:

JNA

For real?

June 9th, 2012, 6:15 pm

 
 

majedkhaldoun said:

I found it strange, Russia is saying they support Annan plan, while Annan himself said his plan has not been implemented, meaning admitting that it failed.

Another massacre in Ma3arret Nu3man,20 dead, war of Massacres

June 9th, 2012, 6:38 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad gansters attacking Al Haffe, a sunni village surrounded by alawite majority in the Ansariah Mountains near Lattakia.

قتيلا12 بينهم 10 أطفال جراء القصف على قرية في الحفة في اللاذقية

Assad still has the stupid mirage of deserving an alawite state. So medieval…

June 9th, 2012, 6:56 pm

 

Jad said:

So it turns out that the terrorist attacks in Damascus were not as some on here kept telling us ‘the regime did it’ it was committed by Alqaeda-like terrorist organization and with lots of daming evidence, but I’m sure the genius thinkers on SC will cover it up and stick to their usual baseless mantra ‘the regime did it’

Here is the Arabic verson hopefully they will translate it soon.

تفجيرات دمشق – تحت الضوء
بث التلفزيون العربي السوري اليوم فيلما وثائقيا يلقي الضوء على تفجيرات دمشق الارهابية ومنفذيها.. وأكد الإرهابي محمد عبد الله أن تفخيخ سيارتي تفجيري القزاز تم بمزرعة في المليحة … ونفذه انتحاريان أردني وفلسطيني الجنسية كما أكد أن تجهيز السيارات المفخخة كان يتم بمغسل بمنطقة يلدا … ومنفذ تفجير الميدان الثاني عبد السلام عواد الحياوي وهو سوري الجنسية

June 9th, 2012, 7:35 pm

 

Jad said:

Propaganda Is the Name of the Game in Media Reports of Atrocities in Syria
by Jeremy R. Hammond

Another massacre has allegedly taken place in Syria that is being compared to the recent massacre in Houla. There are indeed striking similarities. As with the Houla massacre, claims that Syrian government forces or pro-regime militias carried out the atrocity are being parroted by the Western media despite the fact that such claims made by opposition groups and rebel forces remain unverified.

In the case of Houla, there are numerous indications, including eyewitness testimony, that the massacre was actually carried out by rebel forces or allied terrorist groups—with the U.S. and its allies actively supporting the opposition, including by funding and arming the rebels. The allegations of government-backed massacres of civilians are predictably being used as a pretext by the U.S. to implement a policy of regime change in Syria.

The latest massacre was alleged to have occurred on June 6, the same day Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed to Turkey to “talk strategy with America’s allies,” as the Associated Press put it, “and look for a way to win Russia’s support for a transition plan ending the Assad regime.”

“It’s time for all of us to turn our attention to an orderly transition of power in Syria that would pave the way for democratic, tolerant, pluralistic future,” Clinton told reporters in Azerbaijan before leaving for Istanbul.

Clinton made clear that the U.S. was not supportive of the peace plan brokered by U.N. special envoy and former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, which seeks a diplomatic solution to Syria’s civil war.

“We think it is important for us to give Kofi Annan and his plan the last amount of support that we can muster,” she obliquely declared, “because, in order to bring others into a frame of mind to take action in the Security Council, there has to be a final recognition that it’s not working.”

A State Department official briefed reporters on Clinton’s meeting in Turkey by saying she had set forth “essential elements and principles that we believe should guide that post Assad transition strategy, including Assad’s full transfer of power.”
{…}
The mainstream corporate media reports on the latest alleged massacre have apparently relied exclusively on claims from the Syrian opposition that pro-regime forces were responsible. The Guardian reported, “On the face of it, the circumstances of the apparent massacre at al-Qubair, a tiny village near Hama, look grimly familiar: tank or shellfire followed by an assault by the feared shabiha, paramilitary thugs drawn from the minority Alawite community of President Bashar al-Assad.”

The Guardian thus reported the account given by the opposition as fact before providing the government’s version: “The regime blamed ‘armed terrorists’ for killing nine people and accused ‘media backing Syria’s bloodletting’ of spreading lies. Opposition activists have listed 56 named victims and claim 78 died.”

Of course, if the victims of the alleged massacre—described here as “apparent” even though there had yet been no independent confirmation that a massacre even occurred, apart from the Syrian government’s own claim of nine dead—were in fact killed not by pro-regime militias but by rebel forces or allied terrorist elements, then the charge against the media of “spreading lies” would be perfectly accurate.

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/06/09/propaganda-is-the-name-of-the-game-in-media-reports-of-atrocities-in-syria/

June 9th, 2012, 7:45 pm

 

Jad said:

Report: Rebels Responsible for Houla Massacre
By John Rosenthal
It was, in the words of U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan, the “tipping point” in the Syria conflict: a savage massacre of over 90 people, predominantly women and children, for which the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad was immediately blamed by virtually the entirety of the Western media. Within days of the first reports of the Houla massacre, the U.S., France, Great Britain, Germany, and several other Western countries announced that they were expelling Syria’s ambassadors in protest.

But according to a new report in Germany’s leading daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), the Houla massacre was in fact committed by anti-Assad Sunni militants, and the bulk of the victims were member of the Alawi and Shia minorities, which have been largely supportive of Assad. For its account of the massacre, the report cites opponents of Assad, who, however, declined to have their names appear in print out of fear of reprisals from armed opposition groups.

According to the article’s sources, the massacre occurred after rebel forces attacked three army-controlled roadblocks outside of Houla. The roadblocks had been set up to protect nearby Alawi majority villages from attacks by Sunni militias. The rebel attacks provoked a call for reinforcements by the besieged army units. Syrian army and rebel forces are reported to have engaged in battle for some 90 minutes, during which time “dozens of soldiers and rebels” were killed.

“According to eyewitness accounts,” the FAZ report continues,

the massacre occurred during this time. Those killed were almost exclusively from families belonging to Houla’s Alawi and Shia minorities. Over 90% of Houla’s population are Sunnis. Several dozen members of a family were slaughtered, which had converted from Sunni to Shia Islam. Members of the Shomaliya, an Alawi family, were also killed, as was the family of a Sunni member of the Syrian parliament who is regarded as a collaborator. Immediately following the massacre, the perpetrators are supposed to have filmed their victims and then presented them as Sunni victims in videos posted on the internet.

The FAZ report echoes eyewitness accounts collected from refugees from the Houla region by members of the Monastery of St. James in Qara, Syria. According to monastery sources cited by the Dutch Middle East expert Martin Janssen, armed rebels murdered “entire Alawi families” in the village of Taldo in the Houla region.
{…}
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/302261/report-rebels-responsible-houla-massacre-john-rosenthal#

June 9th, 2012, 7:49 pm

 

Moriah Conquering Wind said:

Telegraph UK pimping death squad stories?? The mother of all colonial torturers pointing fingers? There have been SAS troops training the ‘shabiha’ opposition for nearly a year now- in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Just as they did in Iraq. Alistair Crooke nails it when he tracks the atrocities to Qaeda, and NOT a national army- Qaeda, which the UK paid for going back 2 decades- even Hillary recently remarked Qaeda is a western op, American-Saudi-Iz-UK creation.

How about backstory on Rothschild, Blair, Cameran’s dealings with Saif Qaddafi? Where is he now? Executed quickly so he wont talk?
Bit of insight into Operation Tubal Cain in the Hesperides:
Location, location, location…!
22* 12’12 N 22* 12’12 E

We could jump even farther back to Afghanistan… Is SAS still drug running over the Khyber? Righteous indignation from generational psychopaths is just too much!

Zeitung von Deutsch gives some details of how a death squad in Syria operates. Suspiciously like Libya.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/neue-erkenntnisse-zu-getoeteten-von-hula-abermals-massaker-in-syrien-11776496.html

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syria-crisis-less-lebanon-more-turkey

….and while we’re at it: is it true Lady Diana was about to support the Palestinian cause before she was murdered? I think ya’ll forgot to mark her June 3 anniversary when you were so busy saluting The Mother of Darkness’ Diamond Jubilee. That is sad.

June 9th, 2012, 8:19 pm

 

habib said:

25. SANDRO LOEWE

Where did I mention Christians? I’m addressing the widespread claim that Alawis will somehow be exterminated. No such luck. At worst, they’ll set up a separate state. They’ve been forced to be fierce mountain fighters for centuries, this is not the worst that has happened to them.

June 9th, 2012, 8:25 pm

 

Jad said:

Another version of the documentary of Alqaeda terrorist attacks in Damascus:

التسجيل الكامل للوثائقي الخاص باعترافات عدد من الإرهابيين منفذي التفجيرات في دمشق و غيرها من المحافظات
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fyb6eUJuvIs
وثائقي اعترافات منفذي التفجيرات الإرهابية 9-6-2012

June 9th, 2012, 8:28 pm

 

Hans said:

To Omen 24.
Based on your analysis, the situation in Syria is the same; the true revolution was started by the Syrians who have legit reasons to be against the repressive regime but currently ( similar to Tunisia, Egypt) it is also hijacked by similar radicals supported by Alqaida and financed by the KSA and the GCC.
it is clear that the only loser in this so called revolution at the current time are the Syrian people.. I wonder why the USA is repeating the same mistake!!! That’s what I have been saying for months that the USA will find itself using drones over Syria to destroy Alqaida who are taking over the country at current time, destroying Syria, turning it into another Somali or Afghanistan.

BTW i wonder if it is clear that many of the terrorists, suicide bombers in Syria are coming from the Palestinians camps in Syria, add to foreign national mercenaries from all over the Sunni radical countries…it appears that Syris became Israel for this Palestinians and being a suicide bomber in Damascus or other city is the way to liberate Palestine, it is a sad moment to look and see what the Arabs are doing to Syria.
If I was Bashar I would launch all the long range missiles at KSA and GCC ( I am being cynical) given the Israeli patriot’s missiles will defend KSA, it is a joke how the politic of this world goes around. But remember one of the Quadafi inner circle was a CIA recruit!!

It is also clear that the western media with the instruction of the state department that to blame the Syrian regime for anything happens in Syria without verifying any of the event, event the CNN spreads fabricated/edited video of lies.
The American people in general don’t give a hoop about Syria/Syrians, 99% of them don’t know where is Syria and if Syria part of Africa, Asia of it is another state in the USA ( the last statement is a true story was told to me 30 years ago that an American asked a Syrian living in the USA if Syria is one of the USA states)
The western media proved to be unreliable in Syria, although they claim the regime didn’t allow them access but it was a rightful decision given the biased view they carry and the editing which takes place after the shooting.

June 9th, 2012, 8:38 pm

 

SALAH ADDIN said:

If I were Putin, looking after the interest of Russia, in the midst of the current Syrian crisis. If I were to take the worst case scenario, which would be the regime is loosing ground. Why would I make it any easier for the US, by helping with the ushering of the regime out, and facilitating the take over by the US puppets, who will not be in control of their destiny, even if they had the slightest inclination, to keep even the weakest of a relation with Russia. The rebels will be told by their sponsors, the US and the GCC, that Russia is out and they will have to comply.
A good example is Afghanistan, where the US made sure that, not only the Mujahedin did not have any relations with Russia, but also the Northern Alliance, who were a liberal leftist leaning group of secular rebels, all were under the complete influence of the US, that is until Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda reversed course.
In the breakup of Yugoslavia, the US and its European allies, asked the Russians to be part of the UN/NATO solution, only to end up in excluding any Russian input or influence on the final outcome, and punishing the Serbs, Russia’s allies.
When Russia allowed the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact peacefully, it found itself under siege and under attack by the US and NATO, using its ex-Soviet Republics as a platforms for those attacks and siege, and no peace dividends came to materialize.
Putin is certainly not Gorbachev, or Yeltsin, and he has the benefit of the Russian experience with the US, the West and the GCC, since the Afghanistan war in the early eighties to the present.
If Russia is faced with the loss of an ally in Syria, due to the actions of the US and its western allies and the GCC. It is to be expected that, it will exit and leave them to deal with the worst problem on their hand, namely a civil war, a counter insurgency, a broken country, and a center for instability for the surrounding area, for many years to come.
When Hillary Clinton tells Russia to be part of the solution, otherwise they will be excluded. Russia knows exactly what that means, it has been down this road before.
Prof. Landis keeps saying that the US should stay out of Syria, otherwise it will assume ownership if it were broken. Well it is broken, and the US owns it. Since the US publicly instructed the rebels not to accept any amnesty and not to put down their weapons to solve the conflict by political means, it has assumed the responsibility of the results, which will get worse by the day.
The last chance for the US was the support of the UN Annan plan. But no, the US thought it was too clever to allow such a plan, advanced by Russia, to bring a political resolution, while allowing Russia, a foothold in the future of Syria.
Like I said, if I were Putin, and look at the opposition, and see them driving Syria off a cliff, and the US is proudly assuming the conductor role of that train wreck, and there is nothing I tried to do, or did, that could change their deadly course, and given the US unrelenting attack on my country’s interests, I would let them all go down that path, and maybe, I will come back years later, and pick up the pieces.

June 9th, 2012, 9:09 pm

 
 

bronco said:

Tara

“Russia then should just sit tight, allow this allegedly *Islamic* revolution to topple Bashar and take power,”

You are right to point that out.

The USA supported all the dictators of the region as long as they were not a danger to Israel. Recently poverty and injustice brought the population in uprisings. The USA were obliged to dump these dictators as all their bad doings became apparent.

The USA is now in danger of loosing control of these ‘ally’ countries and has to deal with the dangerous consequences on Israel’s security. The USA is trying to bring in power USA sympathizers in Egypt (Shafiq) and in Libya. But the hatred toward the USA who pampered their dictators is met by a huge resistance from the people.
Turkey is trying to calm down the US in assuring it that an ‘islamic republic’ under the Moslem Brotherhood can be tamed to keep “military neutrality” with Israel just like Turkey is now. The USA is still trying to convince itself about that.
Overall, it does appear that these countries will become Islamic republic anti-western and anti-Israel.
The USA and EU will try to bribe them to bring them back under their influence, but the popular suspicion that the USA is trying the same game it did with Mobarak will hamper the relations with the Western countries.
Syria is a different story. It has remained an ally of Russia and the USA has not succeeded in luring it to sign a peace treaty with Israel. Hafez Al Assad was not ready to become another puppet of the USA.
The revolutionaries and the average people in Egypt hate the USA for having loved Mobarak.
The revolutionaries in Syria love the USA for having hated Al Assad, but the average Syrian hates the USA and the Western countries and even more now after the sanctions. The USA is not welcomed in Syria.

Russia will never allow these pro-US revolutionaries to take the last country faithful ally in the the region away from them.
It is clear that Syria, with its large number of minorities, will never become a viable Islamic republic as the MB in Syria is fairly weak.

A success of the diplomacy of Russia in countering the USA and the EU and bringing peace and democracy to Syria would have a direct effect on the anti-western Islamic republics: Russia will appear to be a potentially powerful and relevant alternative to the USA that brought only misery to the region.

Therefore Russia is playing a very crucial gamble in Syria. If Syria falls into the hands of the West, Russia will loose its strategic regional launching pad and with it its chances to recapture its place in the Arab world in the near future.
If Russia is able to push Syrians in finding a local solution that moves them towards democracy without ceding to the USA diktats and conditions, then the Arab world will open up to Russia.
Only time will tell how it will unravel.

June 9th, 2012, 9:38 pm

 

mjabali said:

Sandro L said:

“Assad gansters attacking Al Haffe, a sunni village surrounded by alawite majority in the Ansariah Mountains near Lattakia.

قتيلا12 بينهم 10 أطفال جراء القصف على قرية في الحفة في اللاذقية

Assad still has the stupid mirage of deserving an alawite state. So medieval…”

Where is Ansariah Mountain? Is this a new mountain? the other day you were talking about “world known facts” about the Alawis where we find out that you really do not know where al-Haffe is.

Also, what happened and is happening in al-Haffe is very important and overlooked in the news.

The Armed opposition made a demonstration in al-Haffe, then the population left and then they attacked the Assad positions.

Learn your facts before you spread nonsense.

June 9th, 2012, 9:51 pm

 

zoo said:

Lavrov: Rice is “thoughtless” to exclude Iran

Russia presses for conference on Syria
9:24 AM Sunday Jun 10, 2012
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10811973

Russia has pressed its idea of an international Syria conference including Iran and again voiced opposition to the use of force to end the deadly violence.

Moscow said that denying Tehran – a key Damascus ally – a role in helping to negotiate an end to the 17-month crisis in Syria would be “thoughtless”.

“We want this event to be effective,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

“To say that Iran doesn’t have a place because it is already to blame for everything and it’s part of the problem and not part of the solution, this is thoughtless to say the least from the point of view of serious diplomacy.”

The Iranian government is one of the most important of a dwindling number of friends for Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad, who is facing mounting calls to go.

Lavrov said Moscow would be “glad” to support Assad’s departure but only if Syrians themselves agreed on it.

Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, has called Iran a “spoiler” and said it is “part of the problem in Syria.” The United States has accused Iran of arming Assad’s forces.

Russia has said a conference was needed to overcome differences over the implementation of the peace plan of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, left in tatters by the continued violence.

Lavrov said permanent UN Security Council members Russia, the United States, France, Britain and China, Syria’s neighbours including Lebanon and Jordan, as well as the EU and the Arab League should take part in the get-together.

Moscow wants to hold the conference “as soon as possible”, Lavrov said, without being more specific.

He stressed it might be necessary to overlook ideological divisions to settle the Syria crisis and he suggested that the United States should do so over Iran.

“Americans are pragmatists. When they want, they do not pay attention to ideological problems,” Lavrov said. “This is pragmatism. It’s simply necessary in foreign policy.”

“We are talking about saving people’s lives.”

The main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, voiced doubt about involving Iran in any conference on the future of Syria.

More…

June 9th, 2012, 10:30 pm

 

mjabali said:

Sandro Loewe said:

قتيلا12 بينهم 10 أطفال جراء القصف على قرية في الحفة في اللاذقية

this translates into English:

“12 dead among them 10 children from shelling a village in al-Haffe in Lattakia.”

First of all the fight is in al-Haffe itself and few Sunni villages around it. The Sunni fighters are the ones who started this fight.

For those who do not know, al-Haffe is a Sunni town next to Salah al-Din Castle in the Alawi Mountains. There are few Sunni villages next to it. They have been demonstrating against al-Assad for a year at least and this is the first time it becomes a violent fight on this scale because of the sensitivity of the location.

Many Alawis have been kidnapped in the last few days. This is new to that area and very dangerous.

These fighters, some say they include many non Syrians, have attacked the Christian village of Kenseba on their way.

The Sunnis planned this fight and therefore all the Alawi villages around are armed now and watching. The police/mukhabarat and army are fighting there. The Sunnis are trying to wage many contact points: like from Idleb to Slenfeh.

The Sunni fighters have been gathering for a while for this fight. Some estimate them in the thousands. It is going to be the new hot zone. Assad forces used choppers because of the mountainous wooded nature of the area. Some of these nice woods are burning because the fighters are in them and al-Assad forces are shelling the area.

The situation is very dangerous over there. If you have a mind and a heart with love for Syria help us end this.

June 9th, 2012, 10:33 pm

 
 

zoo said:

Ralph Schoenman: Syrian crisis, imperialist agenda against Mideast

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/06/09/245332/syria-unrest-imperialist-agenda-for-me/

“It is an agenda for replacement of governments that are not acceptable to American imperialism,” said political commentator Ralph Schoenman in a Friday interview, alluding to the Syrian crisis.

“It is not only in Syria this project… it is intended for Iran. It was implemented in Libya; it is the nature of imperial intervention in the region. That is the underlying reality here; everyday confirms it,” he added.

Schoenman pointed out that Washington has not scrupled to conceal its real agenda, saying, “From the beginning the US spokespersons and the secretary of state and the US representative to the UN have made it explicit that their objective is to remove the government in Syria.”

The political analyst questioned the reliability of the UN peace plan in Syria and argued that such “punitive peace plans” merely accuse the government of violating the peace deal, while they give a free hand “to financed and armed terror instruments of the Qataris of the Saudis of the Turks of the Libyans under the direction of imperialism.”
more..

June 9th, 2012, 11:09 pm

 

Hopeful said:

Jasmine #32

“Is this a moral motive?and why do they change once they are elected?”

Since one’s objective for running for office IS to represent the people, then I do not see why “winning the election” is NOT a moral goal.

They change for a few reasons. First, they start realizing that all the promises they made are not easy to accomplish once you are in office. Second, the public mood may change, and therefore they will have to change their stance. Third, the world may change. Obama said in Cairo that he will support people who seek freedom, then he sat and waited… and when the Egyptian people spoke, he supported them, didn’t he?

Frankly, I personally believe that the US does more good than harm in the world. If we, Arabs, learn how to take advantage of its positive influences, we will be better off. Only two countries in the Middle East have learned how to do that very well: Israel and Turkey. This knowledge served them well. Remember that it was the Americans who’ve forced the Israelis, the French and the British to cease their aggression on Egypt in 1956. The Israelis took note of that and learned how to marshal that influence to their advantage. We, Arabs, never learned.

June 9th, 2012, 11:12 pm

 

zoo said:

Egypt TV: Beware of foreigners, they could be spies

لإعلان الذي أرهب الجواسيس

June 9th, 2012, 11:29 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

This Friday’s protests in pictures across Syria:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chroniclesyrianuprising/collections/72157630028511177/

Photos from todays funeral for the martyrs that fell victim to Assad’s forces indiscriminate shelling of Dera’a Al Balad:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chroniclesyrianuprising/sets/72157630029434011/

June 10th, 2012, 12:02 am

 

Norman said:

The Christians in Syria have to make a choice, either stand up and defend themselves or leave, they should look at how the Christians are treated in Egypt and other Arab states before they decide which side they are going to stand by.

June 10th, 2012, 12:04 am

 

Jad said:

Jna,
In ref. to the article you posted earlier, the truth is that the armed militias are the one using civilians as human shields for their attacks, just check this clip that for some strange reason nobody bothered to link or show even dr. Landis, it gives you an idea what’s going on ground, the armed men will go in the middle of a residential neighborhood shooting their RPGs and missiles at the army to make them to retaliate then to use it for the media, just check how this man fire his weapon against the army while people are still running in the streets with their beloved people injured and killed while this thug just walk by them after shooting without even trying to help, that is the reality nobody wants to see, the irony is that the same clip is used in the newspaper sites without even trying to edit it or noticing that what they are showing is an a very important piece of the truth they want to deny and hide
SYRIA: Truth Behind the Houla “Shelling”

June 10th, 2012, 12:08 am

 

Jad said:

http://youtu.be/4_PVKsqbRNA

The lady on the phone talking to Souhair made a number of important points:
-she said that the revolutionists killed her cousin just for having Bashar’s picture on his mobile.
-she said that she is from Hama, and all the revolution demonstrations have been carried out under coercion: the revolution thugs took names of people who did not participate and people who were not chanting during the demonstrations, for later reprisal.
-She also said that when the Syria Army would go into a house for search, if there were only women in the house at the time, the Army would ask a neighbour to accompany them, so as the army personnel do not enter onto women that have no men with them.

June 10th, 2012, 12:20 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

Hmmmm… coercion? In Hama!

These pictures are from Hama, they tell a different story.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chroniclesyrianuprising/sets/72157630089959752/

I see no “thugs” in any of these pictures, but yet again to some asking for freedom and dignity is too much to ask, and merely asking for it makes you a “thug”.

June 10th, 2012, 12:56 am

 

Jasmine said:

Hopeful@53
you said:
“Remember that it was the Americans who’ve forced the Israelis, the French and the British to cease their aggression on Egypt in 1956.”

I say:
America and UK were in competition at that time on dominating and influencing as many country as possible and they have not done out of high moral stand and values,it was and still about self interest.

you said:
We, Arabs, never learned.
Believe me that we have learned, and learned a lot, but Alas our national identity was burned and has turned into religious steam.

June 10th, 2012, 1:18 am

 

Ghufran said:

صم بكم عمي فهم لا يرجعون
I think the civil non violent phase of this uprising is history,guns and bombs have silenced anybody with a functioning brain,there is a lot more anger against violence in Syria than what you see here on SC for obvious reasons,this violent twist in Syria will eat everything beautiful and leave the country in ruins,then it would not matter if you are pro or anti regime. When the middle east becomes a collection of failed states,no regime will be able to govern,this will pave the way to a new generation of politicians who can ensure the survival and growth of the likes of Hamad and Hariri,starving and fearful people will only have energy and time to find food and stay alive.
كل ثوره و انتم بخير
Shabeehas come in different colors and accents,enjoy the “diversity”.

June 10th, 2012, 2:56 am

 

ann said:

Friends Of Barack and Hillary!

Al-Qaida moving into Syria – 5 hours ago

http://www.wnd.com/2012/06/al-qaida-moving-into-syria/?cat_orig=world

WASHINGTON – The United States now admits that there is increasing evidence al-Qaida is working its way into Syria and associating itself with the opponents of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
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There also is evidence that al-Qaida is going into Syria from neighboring Lebanon and associating itself with the Sunnis there and in the Western-most Sunni-dominated provinces in Iraq that border on Syria.

Central al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called for his al-Qaida insurgents to assist the Sunni opposition against al-Assad, who is Alawite, an offshoot of Shi’ism, and defend persecuted Sunnis.

“Don’t depend on the West and Turkey, which had deals, mutual understanding, and sharing with this regime for decades and only began to abandon it after they saw it faltering,” al-Zawahiri said.

Now, there is increasing evidence that jihadist fighters are beginning to stream in from Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Libya.

“If al-Assad is ousted,” one informed Lebanese observer told G2Bulletin, “al-Qaida will take over the opposition movement and control Syria.”

[…]

June 10th, 2012, 3:22 am

 

Ghufran said:

Suhair looked bad in this clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK0GHcmByuo
Anti regime activists should find the courage to condemn violence even if that angers those who support them or pay their expenses,otherwise those activists will live as puppets and die as puppets,I happen to agree with many of the headlines that Suhair keeps repeating except that I think she and many others are playing catch up and lost the ability to produce a workable agenda,the time to believe the sincerity and effectiveness of expat politicians is long gone with very few exceptions.

June 10th, 2012, 3:33 am

 

Alan said:

if you want simply to receive an assessment about the events in Syria, simply look at reactions of foreign citizens when watch news about Syria on TV! they despise people when kill each other! murderers with the West Israeli-Saudi ideology aspire to tear to pieces the country under different names carrying out Kosovo schedulers plans! the dirty mean masked war of the lowered intensity! simply swine!

June 10th, 2012, 4:08 am

 

Juergen said:

JNA

I think the newspaper which published the article ( Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) is one of the best german language newspapers, only topped by the Neue Züricher Zeitung ( swiss). I know that the FAZ since its beginning had independant correspondents who knew well the area, f.e. the famous Muhammad Assad wrote from Saudi Arabia with exclusive access to the Saudi king. They always kept the right tone and good informed journalists. Rainer Hermann the author is respected and overall i would say his article must have credible sources, this newspaper doesnt publish things in a hurry, they usually doublecheck everything. I am just a bit sceptical since he is not stationed in Damascus, they have only one journalist in Cairo, the author of the article in Abu Dhabi and one in Jerusalem, so anyone who just gets a 2 week visa to work out of Syria is confronted with this rigid workarea. Nonevertheless he has been the number one journalist for the FAZ, he has written his docterate on Syria. He is fluent in Arabic,Turkish and Persian.

Altair

you raised a good question here, worthwhile to debate it. I personally think that despotes and totalitarian presidents are surrounded by a whole group of supportes and aides who will make sure only pleasant news are coming to the supreme leader. They act out of their own interest, as the saying goes the bearer of bad news will face consequences. The couple of times i was able to see Bashar at close range there were groups of people carried to a meet and greet ceremony in front of the restaurant, obviously those were handpicked. In a country where saying the name of the overall present ruler is considered dangerous and people are afraid from each other, well everything is possible.

I have written about my experiences of my upgrowing in the GDR. The boss of the east german security services( which trained the Syrian security services as well) was even feared by the east german president.

One time the president was to visit the number 1Mio newly build apartment owner. In the GDR such modern buildings never had bathroom tiles, they were almost no were to get. In this apartment they installed tiles and the owners were very happy to be the only ones in the area with tiles. So the President came, had coffee and cake with the family. After one week construction workers came and took out the tiles.

I am sure that the president was not told that and he saw everyday people who benefitted from the regime or he was presented with half true or totally falsified news.

One can be sure that the Syrian regime takes good care of their leaders, reports that top officials and their families are kept in military facilities sound very much like coming out of the scratchbook of how to maintain the iron fist on a country.

June 10th, 2012, 4:28 am

 

Alan said:

Damascus sees worst violence since start of Syrian uprising
http://www.rt.com/news/damascus-syria-clashes-rebels-515/

Annan plan ‘only chance for peace’ but stalled by intervention supporters – Lavrov
http://www.rt.com/news/lavrov-syria-opposition-military-476/

RF calls for starting work to prepare conference on Syria
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c154/443502.html

“Arab Spring benefited only Israel”
http://www.voltairenet.org/Arab-Spring-benefited-only-Israel

‘Intervention in Syria worst scenario, Syrians must decide regime’s fate’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5UMropvS-I
Moscow says it will not let the UN Security Council sanction military action in Syria. Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has said external players are provoking the Syrian opposition to continue fighting despite Kofi Annan’s peace plan, with the country now on the brink of a full-scale civil war.

June 10th, 2012, 4:47 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

48 MJABALI

I discover with much surprise that you might be an alawite. It´s a pleasure. Of course no need to say I respect any religion and I have spent good times with alawites but facing someone who is alawite and may defend Assad atrocities could be really desgusting.

For your information, just take notice that the ANSARIYAH range of mountains, where Al Qardaha is located, is the range of mountains dividing Ghab Plain and the Mediterranean syrian coast. Ansariya are the that linke Homs Gap in the lebanese border with turkish border on the north.

It is strange that I have to explain to alawites what is the name of the mountains they in habit….

This is an extract from any encyclopaedia:

The Anti-Lebanon Mountains, extending southward along the Lebanese border, serve as a catchment for the rainfall of central Syria. To the north of this range, the Ansariyah Mountains, which reach heights of over 1,500 m (5,000 ft), slope westward to the Mediterranean. The Orontes (Asi) River irrigates areas on the eastern side of the Ansariyah Mountains.

June 10th, 2012, 5:02 am

 

Alan said:

Arming of Syria rebels gains momentum
More significant funds are now coming from Saudi Arabia and Qatar
http://gulfnews.com/news/region/syria/arming-of-syria-rebels-gains-momentum-1.1033593

US Defense Secretary Panetta threatens ground intervention into Pakistan
http://whatreallyhappened.com/ru/content/us-defense-secretary-panetta-threatens-ground-intervention-pakistan
Speaking in Kabul yesterday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta threatened Pakistan with a ground intervention if it did not crush forces in Pakistan fighting US occupation troops in Afghanistan.

Panetta singled out the so-called Haqqani network, a militia in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region that mounts raids on US forces across the Afghan-Pakistani border. He said, “Haqqani safe havens still exist on the other side of the border. Pakistan has to take action [to stop] allowing terrorists in their country to attack our forces on the other side of the border. We are reaching the limits of our patience here.”

He continued, “It is difficult to achieve a secure Afghanistan as long as there is a safe haven for terrorists in Pakistan from which they can conduct attacks on our forces. … The United States will do whatever we have to do to protect our forces.”

So now the US government is honestly looking at a full-on ground invasion of Pakistan?!?

Forgive me for asking, but this government already has more wars, both covert and overt, going than it can possibly conclude successfully.

June 10th, 2012, 5:08 am

 

ann said:

Meet HUMPTY DUMPTY Number 2 😀

Academic takes over from academic at top of Syrian opposition bloc

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=52731

June 10th, 2012, 5:36 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Dear Sandro Loewe
Some call the mountain Ansari,most call it Nusairyeh mountain, The name Alaweyeen mountain is new name used by France not by Syrian, may be the Nusairi people seem to prefer Alawi recently.Mjabali is (Alawi) (Nusairi) and I like from him (and the other like him) to hear what he prefers us to call him.

Moderator
If your name is Willian, it is not an insult to call you william,you should not object to use the word Nusairi,this is their original name

June 10th, 2012, 6:11 am

 

mjabali said:

Sandro Loewe:

Leave my religion alone. I never said one word about my religion. You reminded us many times what is your religion. My religion is my business.

There is nothing that is called Ansariyah range of Mountains as you claim. ،
جبال الانصارية؟ أين تقع جبال الأنصارية؟

I never heard of that “range of mountains,” where does it exist?

As for defending al-Assad deeds that is not my business. I am more interested into telling the truth.

Read my post again and see how this fight in al-Haffe had started, who started it and why?

To hell with the dictator, all I care about is the regular Syrian people who are paying the price of this high stake death game.

To hell with the opposition if all they do is invite foreign fighters to kill, kidnap and destroy Syrian towns killing many in the way.

June 10th, 2012, 6:22 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Lavrov suggested a meeting that include Iran, Why Iran, It is not Arabic country, it is not a neighbour of Syria,and not a superpower either,Why then not include India or Brazil?or South Africa?.
Turkey is more appropriate, it is a neighbour, It seems that Lavrov is not serious about such a meeting, he knows USA and AL will object,he is kind of trouble maker

June 10th, 2012, 6:32 am

 

Alan said:

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/05/sunni-extremists-ravaging-syria-created.html
Extremists Ravaging Syria Created by US in 2007
US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel funded and have backed regional army of Sunni terrorists since 2007 specifically to overthrow Syria and Iran.

June 10th, 2012, 6:42 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Was the timing of yesterday’s broadcast of the Damascus bombing documentary on State Tv a coincidence? Was it already scheduled for broadcast yesterday for some time?

Perfect distraction to shift the focus on alleged Al-Qaeda activities and away from the the recent Massacres.

Syrian media distraction campaign to avoid potential anger towards the regime from the population over the recent massacres?

June 10th, 2012, 6:44 am

 

Shami said:

Habib,
Dont be scared like a karbala’i.
There will be no more the alawite mountains,the alawites will remain in Damascus,the coastal cities and Homs ,this region belongs to all the syrian people and the turkish, western and arab brothers will be welcome in post Assad Syria ,this trend can not be avoided because the cities have become polluted and the mountains are more and more appreciated as place for second home and recidence.

June 10th, 2012, 6:51 am

 

Uzair8 said:

The regime feels it can carry out massacres and crimes and get away with it because it has an army of media and keyboard Shabeeha helping to cover up and deny these crimes. In some cases even helping to justify regime crimes.

June 10th, 2012, 6:52 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Moderator
I ask you to delete Alan comment # 73
The word Sunni terrorist is what I object to, he can say terrorist but to call Sunni terrorists is not acceptable, nor it is acceptable to call Christian terrorist ,or Islam terrorist.

June 10th, 2012, 6:56 am

 

Shami said:

Good Luck Mr Sayda !and thank you Mr Ghaliun.
The SNC has improved in the last few weeks.

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-opposition-group-elects-leader-065302584.html

June 10th, 2012, 7:06 am

 

mjabali said:

Majedkhaldoun:

Dude: To call the Alawis Nusayris is not a big deal except for you.

You try to show that they are of a lower grade of humans if they are connected to Muhammad ibn Nusayer instead of al-Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb. There is no difference because all is going back to Ali. They are Alawis at the end of the day.

Now: AS for what I prefer to call those mountains east of LAttakia:

I say call them a Syrian name instead of an Arabic name referring to a sect. This name is not accurate and fair to others living in that mountain.

You need to look at who lives in the mountain now.

There are Alawis (aka Nusayiris as the dude insist on calling them), Christians and Sunnis.

The Sunnis live in an area called Jabal al-Akrad, where the town of al-Haffe and few Sunni villages are.

The Alawis and the Christians are the majority of the inhabitants of the mountains.
So to call the mountains Alawi or Nusayriah mountains is wrong.

The Word Nusayriayh Mountains was first used in the times of Ibn Taymiyah and it did not refer to the mountains east of LAttakia, but instead to some mountains in current day Lebanon where Muhammad ibn Qalawuun went and killed them all in the first decade of the 1300’s.

Nusayriah/Alawis were in the mountains around Damascus too, Golan Height and al-Sheikh Mountains.

When a non-Syrian, or non-Alawi occupier calls that area a name it does not matter at the end of the day: what matters is what the local population would like to call it.

June 10th, 2012, 7:09 am

 

mjabali said:

Moderator please release my reply to Majedkhaldoun from your jail

June 10th, 2012, 7:13 am

 

mjabali said:

Majedkhaldoun:

There are Arabic Sunni fighters in the mountains east of Lattakia? what do you think of that?

There are Arabic Sunni fighters in Qala’at al-Husn? What do you think of that?

June 10th, 2012, 7:15 am

 

Juergen said:

Just read that the SNC has a new leader, Abdel Baset Seida, of kurdish origin lives since the 90s in Sweden.

June 10th, 2012, 7:26 am

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Mjabali
The Shabiha are Alawi, They are the worst Terrorists as usual
Do we call all Alawis terrorists because of Shabiha? these words cause discourse. and has to be avoided.
Mjabali you need to improve your knowledge.

June 10th, 2012, 7:28 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Juergen
Is Burhan Ghalioun of kurdish ancestry too?

June 10th, 2012, 7:38 am

 

mjabali said:

Majdkhaldoun:

We are not here discussing al-Shabiha number one. Number 2: there are Sunni Shabiha too. This is a fact. Criminal Shabiha should stand in court no matter what is their religious background.

I just asked you a question about what do you think of the existence of Arab Sunni Fighters with the armed opposition in Syria? Is this the type of unity you are talking about?

June 10th, 2012, 7:40 am

 

mjabali said:

Shami said:

“Habib,
Dont be scared like a karbala’i.”

Shami what do you mean by this statement? Could please enlighten us with your apparent knowledge?

بالله عليك ياشامي إشرح لنا مامعنى الكربلائي؟

One concludes from your statement that you want to get rid of the Alawis from the mountains and replace them with the bearers of civilization the rich Sunnis from Turkey and the Gulf Countries.
حملة مشعل الحضارة من الخليج والاتراك

What about the poor Sunnis? Are they going to have a piece from the Alawi mountain too?

June 10th, 2012, 7:51 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Assad’s Response to Syria Unrest Leaves His Own Sect Divided

June 9, 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon — After Jaber Abboud, a baker from Baniyas, Syria, first lashed out publicly at President Bashar al-Assad for failing to promote real change, his neighbors ignored it.

But Mr. Abboud and most of his community are Alawites, the same religious sect as the president. When the popular uprising broke out, many believed that if the Assad family fell, they were doomed. They closed ranks and turned on Mr. Abboud, boycotting his pastry shop and ultimately forcing him to leave town.

“The neighborhood is split — half are dejected and subservient, the rest are beasts,” he said in a telephone interview from nearby Latakia.

Read more:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/world/middleeast/syrian-alawites-divided-by-assads-response-to-unrest.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&seid=auto&smid=tw-nytimesworld

June 10th, 2012, 8:03 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Mjabali
I welcome your suggestion that All terrorists must face fair court and whoever is found guilty must be punished, this is a good step
as for your next question, I assure you , as I witnessed it my self, that there are Sunni fighteres ,and there are Christians fighters and yes there are Alawis fighters among the rebel, they all fight for freedom from this tyrant , Assad family, and they deserve respect and admiration from all of us, they are sacrificing their lives, the most precious anyone could have, we all Syrian true Syrian there is no one Syrian who is better than another, and I am sure you agree with me on that, our enemy is the one who wants to deprive us from our freedom and dignity, it is time that you join us in this great revolution,and call specifically to remove Assad, he is the problem he is the cause of this destruction that Syria is going through, it is better that we are one heart,one hand to save Syria, which I am sure it is dear to you and me and all of us.

June 10th, 2012, 8:03 am

 

Mina said:

Majed #72 and #77
It happens that Iran and Syria have signed some years ago what is known as a “bilateral defense agreement”, in case you missed it. This is a bit more than just being neighbours.

As for “Sunni terrorists” just like “Shiite terrorists” it refers to some people who are terrorists and who happen to refer to themselves as obedient to this or that Islamic sect.

Peace!

June 10th, 2012, 8:31 am

 

Alan said:

Mister Sida the president of national Syrian committee asks foreign intervention under point 7 !!!!
He scatter-brained! he asks from Bosses of world politics Russia and China to join his opinion!

June 10th, 2012, 8:45 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Mina
That exactly why Iran has to be excluded.
Iran is helping the regime in Syria to kill Syrians,it is accomplice in crime

June 10th, 2012, 8:46 am

 

Alan said:

Syrian rebels aim to use chemical weapons, blame Damascus – report
http://www.rt.com/news/syria-chemical-weapons-plot-532/
The armed Syrian opposition has got their hands on chemical weapons, which they acquired from Libya, a media report claims. They allegedly plan to use it against civilians and pin the atrocity on the Bashar al-Assad regime.
The report by DamPress claims the opposition group in possession of the weapons is being trained in its use inside Turkey. No further detail on the alleged conspiracy is given.
The Libyan stockpile of chemical weapons was a matter of great concern during last year’s civil war in the country. There were fears that they may end up in the hands of the terrorists and used elsewhere in the world. However unlike Libya’s portable surface-to-air arsenal, no reports of the weapons going missing was made public.
Syria has a greater number of chemical weapons than Libya. Military experts say the agents in the Syrian stockpile are also more modern that what Gaddafi had produced for his military. Syria also didn’t join the Chemical Weapons Convention and is not obliged to declare what chemical weapons it possesses.
The chemical framing plot allegations comes days after British journalist Alex Thomson from Channel 4 news accused a Syrian opposition group of trying to set him and his crew up to be killed by government forces. He said a western journalist death would give bad publicity for Damascus.
Syria is sliding back into violence after a UN-brokered peace plan failed to bring the rival forces in the country to negotiation table. The worst of the incidents of renewed bloodshed were two massacres of civilians in the villages of Houla and al-Qubair.

[…]

June 10th, 2012, 8:57 am

 

zoo said:

The West keeps wondering…

Democratic Muslims? Why not?
By Haroon Siddiqui
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1208686–democratic-muslims-why-not

The advent of democracy in the Arab Middle East has prompted heated debates over the role of Islam in government, and over the rights of women and non-Muslim minorities, especially in Egypt, the largest Arab nation that also has the largest Christian community in the region.

The issues are fraught with misunderstandings, primarily because of the antagonism between the West and Islam. Cultural stereotypes distort the debate with improper or deliberately misleading language.

Islam, the faith, is not government.

Some governments may call themselves Islamic — as in Saudi Arabia and Iran. But many Muslims routinely question the Islamic credentials of those two governments. This tells us the obvious: There is no one, monolithic Islam. There’s great diversity of thought and interpretation among Muslims, as in people of any faith.

More…

June 10th, 2012, 9:06 am

 

zoo said:

Tunisia: More veils, yes. Less corruption, no?

By Sarah Chayes

June 10, 2012
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-chayes-tunisia-corruption-20120610,0,6550179.story
In the year since the Arab Spring, attention has been riveted on one issue above all others: the place of religious practice in public life. In Tunisia, where the movement began, full-face and body veils, now often worn complete with gloves, are increasingly visible on the streets — an exotic sight for locals and foreigners alike. And the secular opposition seems increasingly strident in its conviction that the Islamist government is driving the country the way of Iran.

But it wasn’t religion that set off the Jasmine Revolution; it was acute economic injustice and the pervasive and structured corruption that helped produce it. The fate of Tunisia, and its neighbors, may depend most on whether that lingering problem is addressed.

More..

June 10th, 2012, 9:10 am

 

irritated said:

90. majedkhaldoun said:

“That exactly why Iran has to be excluded.”

Then Qatar, KSA, Turkey should be excluded too as they
are actively helping the opposition in Syria to kill Syrians,it is accomplice in crime

June 10th, 2012, 9:12 am

 

Mina said:

Zoo,
As Marx once said: wear a veil, pray a lot, and the opium taste of religion will help you not to feel hunger…

By the way, I hope the rebels will use their Libyan connections to help release the ICC judge before they can bring anyone to the ICC court.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18384856
“The Australian authorities say they are seeking consular access to an Australian lawyer held in Libya after trying to meet Saif al-Islam, son of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Defence lawyer Melinda Taylor is one of four members of the International Criminal Court’s staff detained in the Libyan town of Zintan since Thursday.” (…)

June 10th, 2012, 9:14 am

 

Alan said:

SOS
http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_06_10/77707730/
Syrian insurgents receive chemical weapons from Libya
Groups of insurgents who are fighting against the Syrian governmental troops have received chemical weapons from Libya, Iran’s Fars news agency reports referring to the Syrian mass media.

[…]

June 10th, 2012, 9:16 am

 

zoo said:

Models to handle Syria’s crisis: No Egypt, no Yemen, No Libya, No Bahrain, now it’s Bosnia, next Algeria 1990

Hague: Syria is like 1990s Bosnia
10 Jun 10 2012

The situation in Syria resembles Bosnia in the 1990s, Foreign Secretary William Hague said as he warned time was running out to stop the killings in the country.

Mr Hague said it was now up to Russia to use its leverage with President Bashar Assad’s regime to bring an end to the brutal violence in Syria.

He told Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News the continued political and trade isolation of Syria was the second best option. What was needed was a united way forward, he said.

Asked whether the Government had ruled out military intervention, Mr Hague said: “I think we don’t know how things are going to develop. Syria is, as I said in the last couple of weeks, on the edge of a collapse or of a sectarian civil war so I don’t think we can rule anything out.

“But it is not so much like Libya last year, where of course we had a successful intervention to save lives.

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/2012/06/10/hague-syria-is-like-1990s-bosnia-91466-31151800/#ixzz1xObglULQ

June 10th, 2012, 9:17 am

 

zoo said:

Will Ennahda respect their promises to leave Tunisia secular? how would the Islamists react: The new Tunisian Constitution is planned for October.

CAIRO — Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, said on Monday that the country’s post-revolution constitution would not mention Islamic law as a source of legislation, signaling a forceful break with ultraconservatives who have been demanding an Islamic state.
Gianni Cipriano for The New York Times

“We have to show leadership,” Said Ferjani of Ennahda, the ruling party, said.

Instead, a drafting committee will preserve language in Tunisia’s current constitution that refers to Islam as the state’s religion and Arabic as its language, according to Said Ferjani, a member of the political bureau of Ennahda, the Islamist party that leads Tunisia’s government.

He and other Ennahda leaders framed the decision as a bid to unify the country’s disparate political factions during a delicate political transition. “There is a huge consensus within Ennahda. We have to show leadership,” Mr. Ferjani said. “We want everyone to get involved.”

The move by Ennahda contrasted sharply with the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which has angered leftists, liberals and other groups in recent days with its handling of that country’s constitution

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/world/africa/tunisia-says-constitution-will-not-cite-islamic-law.html

June 10th, 2012, 9:25 am

 

Tara said:

I like it that the FSA asked Hassan to apologize to the Syrian people in order to release the hostages. He should apologize and promise not to do it again. I want them to be treated good in the interim.

Saying sorry usually goes long way…

June 10th, 2012, 9:26 am

 

zoo said:

Latest Syria death counts from the London Observatory: More than the third of the dead are regular soldiers.

At least 9.862 civilians 3.470 soldiers et 783 defectors have been killed during the crackdown and fights. L’OSDH considers as civilians armed men who fight against the regime without having being soldiers.

http://www.lorientlejour.com/category/Derni%C3%A8res+Infos/article/763122/Plus_de_14.100_morts_depuis_le_debut_de_la_revolte_en_Syrie.html

June 10th, 2012, 9:32 am

 

ann said:

Armed men set forests ablaze in northern Syrian town – 2012-06-10

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/10/c_131643176.htm

DAMASCUS, June 10 (Xinhua) — A pro-government news website said armed groups are setting forests on fire in the mountainous area of Hafeh near coastal Latakia city to frame the Syrian army of bombarding the area, as activists said the Syrian army has renewed bombardment of Hafeh Sunday.

The pro-government website, Ajel network, said armed groups have detonated a number of houses also in Hafeh Sunday morning, adding that the rebels might be setting the stage for another massacre to leverage it against the Syrian army.

A day earlier, Syria’s state media said that Syrian troops clashed with armed groups in Hafeh Saturday, killing and rounding up a number of them and still chasing remnants of others.

Armed groups in Hafeh town have attacked and set ablaze public and private properties, said state-run SANA news agency, adding that a number of people have been brutally killed by those gunmen.

Hafeh has been the center of clashes between the armed rebels and government troops since last Tuesday. Witnesses said the rebels have taken over the town and setup bases there, adding that they had burnt a branch of the ruling al-Baath party in addition to three army tanks.

[…]

June 10th, 2012, 9:38 am

 

irritated said:

#77 Majed

You like or not, all 9/11 jihadists, Al Qaeda and allies are Sunni terrorists.

June 10th, 2012, 9:43 am

 

ann said:

Syrian pro-government paper says Damascus immune to armed rebels – 2012-06-10

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/10/c_131643116.htm

DAMASCUS, June 10 (Xinhua) — A pro-government newspaper said Sunday that the Syrian capital of Damascus is immune to armed rebels, adding that the Free Syrian Army militias, who tried to enter Damascus from different axes, will see that death is their destiny.

“It seems that the plan to spread the confrontation to the capital has started” after the failures in other provinces, the paper, Al-Watan, said. “However,” it added, “the destiny of the free army militias will be absolutely the worst.”

The paper said clashes erupted at noon in Mazeh and Kafar Souseh of Damascus “when terrorists tried to enter Damascus… and opened fire at army checkpoints,” adding that they failed to enter the capital.

Al-Watan added that at 6 p.m. (1500 GMT), other groups tried to enter Damascus from al-Qaboun, Jouber and Harasta in Damascus’ outskirts, “and the army’s counterattack was overwhelming and it crushed all the terrorists before they could have a foothold in Damascus.”

In the meantime, the Syrian TV broadcast on Saturday evening a documentary disclosing details about the explosions that hit different parts of Damascus over the past months, noting that the perpetrators were members of al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhet al-Nasra or al-Nusra Front to Protect the Levant organization.

The documentary revealed the way in which the suicide bombings were planned and carried out and interviewed some arrested accomplices in the attacks and members of their families.

The documentary revealed that the terrorist bombings which targeted al-Qazzaz area in March was carried out by terrorists from this group who drove two explosive-ridden cars in a farm in al-Mleha area southeast of Damascus.

The two cars were driven by a Jordanian terrorist nicknamed Abu Musaab and a Syrian Palestinian called Mohammad Ali Ghazi, and were trailed by an Iraqi known as Marwan who supervised the operation.

[…]

June 10th, 2012, 9:47 am

 

Juergen said:

Majed

i dont know if Ghalioun has these roots, in the article they pointed out that the new leader is of kurdish origin, I really hope we will not get into lebanese style of politics where the religion sets the grounds if one gets a government post or not.

June 10th, 2012, 9:59 am

 

Juergen said:

We should all take Assads words for granted, in an TRT Interview in 2010 he said that he never promised to reform or to establish democracy in Syria. Very honest interview.

But I have my doubts about MEMRI…

June 10th, 2012, 10:07 am

 

ann said:

Friends Of The Ottomans!

Israeli officials offer food, medical aid to fleeing Syrians – 2012-06-10

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/10/c_131643094.htm

Kara said that Israeli doctors deployed along the Turkish- Syrian border were already treating wounded Syrians, according to the Ha’aretz daily.

[…]

June 10th, 2012, 10:07 am

 

Alan said:

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/06/blatant-corporate-media-propaganda.html
Blatant Corporate Media Propaganda Inciting Hatred of Syria to Justify Intervention
Eric Blair
Activist Post
It’s more obvious everyday that propaganda is getting more blatant, more in our face. Mostly we just assume it has always been there but it’s usually cleverly subtle. Not lately though. It’s blood in your face time especially in regards to the “conflict” in Syria.
Take a look at this Huffington Post front page from today:
This struck me for several reasons which I’ll get into; but first, this is at least the third time they’ve plastered their front page with this propaganda in the last couple of weeks. These blood-soaked headlines always lead to an Associated Press story, or, in this case, Reuters.
It’s difficult to even know where to begin breaking down the blatant propaganda tactics used here. Let’s ignore the gory red paint splatters on the Syrian flag, as that one is pathetically obvious.
To bring some immediate perspective to this headline, imagine if it read “HORROR: NEW MASSACRE IN PAKISTAN — Activists: American Drone Bombs Slaughter 78…Women and Children Killed.”
But that headline would never happen because they (the State Department controlled AP and Reuters) would never allow those emotional trigger words to be used. Instead, “militants” were always killed with maybe a bit of collateral damage during “U.S. drone mission.” No one was ever slaughtered or massacred during drone “missions” . . . those words are only used to describe the enemy’s actions…/../..

June 10th, 2012, 10:12 am

 

Juergen said:

Mina

is this the new superstar in Egypt? Also a way to get famous.

June 10th, 2012, 10:17 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

In my whole life I have allways called the Ansariyah Mountains this way. Calling it Alawite mountains sounds so french and colonialist…. while calling it Nusaiyria is completely sectarian and ridiculous.

Ansariyah mountains is the name that has been given by the regime itself in the national maps of Syria. And it is good enough because the reality is that these mountains are the North Extension of Mount Lebanon and belong to the same geographical entity.

Alawite Mountains…. what a joke.

June 10th, 2012, 10:20 am

 

Alan said:

http://sns.sy/sns/?path=news/read/55361
ضابط اردني يكشف “خطط تجسس” المراقبين الدوليين على سورية
محطة أخبار سورية
ذكر ضابط أردني يعمل مع فريق مراقبي الأمم المتحدة في سورية أن لفريقه مهمات “تجسسية” غير معلنة، وأن هذا الأمر لا يعلم به إلا عدد محدود جداً من أعضاء الفريق، وتحديداً “الغربيين” منهم، بمن فيهم رئيس الفريق الجنرال النرويجي روبرت مود, وكشف الضابط الأردني عن أن أعضاء الفريق الذين زاروا ميناء طرطوس يوم أمس، كانوا يريدون الحصول على معلومات حول “أنشطة عسكرية أجنبية” في أحد أحواضه!

وكانت زيارة الفريق إلى الميناء استدعت تساؤل المعنيين ودهشتهم، بالنظر لأن مهمة المراقبين محصورة في مراقبة انتهاكات “وقف إطلاق النار”، الذي نصت عليه “خطة كوفي أنان”، في الأماكن التي تشهد مواجهات ساخنة بين الجيش السوري والأجهزة الأمنية من جهة، والمسلحين من جهة أخرى. علماً بأن طرطوس كلها، والميناء بطبيعة الحال، لم يشهدا أية مواجهات أو توترات من هذا النوع!

وكشف الضابط الأردني أن الجنرال مود طلب من فريق المراقبين، بعد أن انطلق من دمشق، التوجه إلى ميناء طرطوس وفحص ساحات تخزين الحاويات، مع التركيز على الحوض الشمالي في الميناء، بالنظر لأنه “الرصيف الذي يستخدمه الجيش السوري لاستقدام السلاح من الخارج، سواء من روسيا أو من إيران”، بحسب المعلومات التي تلقاها الجنرال روبرت مود من مصادره الخاصة. وقال الضابط “إن مود تلقى معلومات أول أمس من مصادر غربية تشير إلى قدوم قوات خاصة روسية يجري إنزالها مع عتادها في الميناء منذ يومين بذريعة أنها خاصة بالنقطة البحرية الفنية التي تستخدمها روسيا للخدمات الفنية واللوجستية الخاصة بسفن أسطولها عند إبحارها في البحر المتوسط”. إلا أن المراقبين وبعد أكثر من ساعة من التجول في الميناء، والكلام لم يزل للضابط، لم يلحظوا شيئاً غير طبيعي.

[…]

June 10th, 2012, 10:39 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Brother of Zenab Alhomsi explaining how cowards
The Blood Merchants are:

June 10th, 2012, 10:41 am

 

Juergen said:

Sandro

i was asking the people while driving to Bosra where is djebel druz, they had no clue. In my map it stated Djebel Druz( and i later learned, the world calls it that way too), but 42 year of Assadist rule turned it into Djebel Arab… If only self modesty would also apply to them, or why is there an Assad lake, an Assad dam, an Basel Assad lake. I forgot its Assad Syria right?

Something to laugh if one can enjoy black humor, Burka women by an pakistani comedian, I will pray for that guy.

June 10th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Irritated
Terrorism does not have religion, Terrorists are found in Sunni and Shiite,christians(Oklahoma)I quoted few Shiite terrorism,but I am sure that you remember Imad Mughniyeh, The famous Shiite terrorist
http://www.youtube.com/verify_controversy?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DBlwUC1P9p-c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxzDk3aCfGs
http://www.theonion.com/articles/shiite-terrorists-cross-county-line,1636/

Mina
To have peace with who? a tyrant who is killing Syrian, a brutal dictator, no I don’t want to have peace with him, you obviously support major terrorist tyrant evil dictator ,criminal Assad, I don’t.

June 10th, 2012, 10:55 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

113 JUERGEN,

The case of Jabal Al Arab – Jebel Druz is a different one. Nobody inhabitated the area until druze communities came long time ago.

But in the case of Ansariya it is clear that Al Nusairiyah and Ansanirya have the same root. But it is better to let words flow and develop in time to avoid being related directly to its original meaning (sectarian sometimes). Alansariyah sound little less sectarian that Al Nusairy that means probably the same.

June 10th, 2012, 11:00 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

Yesterday Homs was under a heavy barrage by the Assadi forces, in the clip below I counted 11 projectiles hitting in the 3 minute video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdTbtwkQcpE&feature=player_embedded

Below are some pictures that show the aftermath of such heinous attacks against civilian and urban population:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chroniclesyrianuprising/sets/72157630032840591/

June 10th, 2012, 11:22 am

 

Alan said:

Ya kharam ! Angels of favor and mercy (We remain deeply troubled and concerned by the ongoing violence in Syria) !
http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=116564
Pentagon: In Syria, Iran Helps Assad, al-Qaida Foments Violence
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 31, 2012 – In Syria, where Bashar Assad’s government continues to massacre its population, Iran is supporting the regime and members of al-Qaida are in the country for their own purposes, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby told reporters today.
“We remain deeply troubled and concerned by the ongoing violence in Syria and by the horrific acts of the Assad regime against its own people,” Kirby told reporters at a Pentagon press briefing.
“And we certainly have seen reports and have reason to believe that Iran continues to assist the Assad regime in committing these acts of atrocities against the Syrian people,” he added.
Other nations share that concern, the Pentagon spokesman said, and some are providing lethal assistance to opponents of the Syrian regime.
Kirby said defense officials have seen but cannot confirm reports that the Iranians are using commercial airliners to move arms into Syria.
“The larger issue here is that the Iranian regime, Tehran, continues to support, in tangible and intangible ways, the Assad regime,” he added, “and that needs to stop.”
At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney said the administration has been focused on the need to bring about a political transition in Syria sooner rather than later.
“The longer that Assad and his thugs are allowed to brutally murder the Syrian people, the more likely it becomes a sectarian civil war; the more likely that it spills over Syrian borders; the more likely that it transforms into a proxy war with different players,” Carney said, “including … Iran, which is already engaging in malignant behavior with regards to the Syrian situation, stepping up that kind of activity and not being alone in doing that.”./../..

Pentagon On Syria: ‘We Get Paid To Be Ready’
http://www.businessinsider.com/pentagon-on-syria-we-get-paid-to-be-ready-2012-6

June 10th, 2012, 11:25 am

 

Juergen said:

shabiha of Paris

June 10th, 2012, 11:27 am

 

Dawoud said:

Yes, it is a “Shabiha state!”

Salute to Syrians’ & Palestinians’ “stones vs firearms” resistance!

June 10th, 2012, 11:38 am

 

Tara said:

From Landis above:

“The heart of Damascus is now involved. When the merchants of Hamadiya – the main souq – go on strike, you know you have lost the conscience and heart of Damascus. The Sunni bourgeoisie has now turned on the regime.”

Ah…Proud girl I am going to be. The end of the regime my just occur in Damascus.

June 10th, 2012, 12:18 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

The children of el Haffeh join so many more children that have been murdered by the Assadi Army:

June 10th, 2012, 12:21 pm

 

DAWOUD said:

Demagoguing the just Palestinian cause in order to spread the Wilayat al-Faqih project. In any case, Iran’s and Hizbistan’s sectarian mask has been uncovered with their sectarian support for Bashar (War Criminal) al-Assad’s Shabiha regime!

http://www.aljazeera.net/pointofview/pages/8a690bb4-e646-4b3c-89c1-bbc8e502a3b9

أضواء على مشروع الولي الفقيه

توجهت جماعة الإخوان المسلمين في سوريا بمذكرة إلى أبناء الأمة المسلمة، تدعوهم فيها إلى مواجهة مشروع الولي الفقيه الذي يعيث فسادًا في سوريا وغيرها من البلدان العربية.
وإنني أثمن هذا التوجه، وأعتقد أن هذا البيان قد وجّه الأنظار إلى مشروع خطير يفتك بجسم الأمة، ويهدف إلى تفتيتها، ومن الواجب التصدي له ووضع الخطط وحشد الإمكانات من أجل ذلك، قبل أن يستفحل ضرره ويستشري خطره.

وأعتقد أن المتابع لشؤون الأمة، يدرك أن هناك مشروعين لتدمير الأمة وتمزيقها والسيطرة عليها وهما:


مشروع الولي الفقيه الإيراني يلتقي مع المشروع الصهيوني في إضعاف الأمة، وتفتيتها، وتمزيقها، ويتعاون معه في بعض الأماكن والأحيان

الأول: المشروع الصهيوني، الذي بدأ خططه منذ نهاية القرن التاسع عشر، والذي أفلح في إسقاط الخلافة العثمانية، ثم في إقامة إسرائيل، وما زال يسعى إلى تمزيق الأمة وتفتيتها وإضعافها من أجل أن تبقى إسرائيل هي القائدة لدول الشرق الأوسط.

الثاني: مشروع الولي الفقيه الإيراني، الذي بدأ منذ أن وصل الخميني إلى الحكم عام 1979، والذي يخطط لنشر المذهب الشيعي، وتحويل الشيعة إلى أكثرية في الأمة، وهو من أجل تحقيق هذه الغاية يلتقي مع المشروع الصهيوني في إضعاف الأمة، وتفتيتها، وتمزيقها، ويتعاون معه في بعض الأماكن والأحيان.

وليس من شك في أن الواعين من أبناء الأمة هم الذين يتصدون لكلا المشروعين باعتبارهما يشكلان خطرًا على الأمة، أما المغفلون، والمصابون بقصور الإبصار فهم الذين يرون أن هناك مشروعًا واحدًا يستهدف الأمة هو المشروع الصهيوني، ويتهمون من يقول بالمشروعين بالعمالة للصهيونية. والسؤال الآن: ما المراحل التي قطعها مشروع الولي الفقيه منذ عام 1979؟

بدأ مشروع الولي الفقيه بالقضية الفلسطينية لأنّه وعى أنها خير مدخل إلى قلوب مسلمي العالم، وقد ذكر الخميني في أحد اجتماعاته مع المقربين منه أنه إن لم يكن لنا رصيد في القضية الفلسطينية فعملنا السياسي لا قيمة له، لذلك ركزت إيران على فتح أبوابها للمنظمات والحركات والشخصيات الفلسطينية، وكان ياسر عرفات رئيس منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية أول من زار الخميني عام 79 من الشخصيات العالمية، لكن التحالف بين إيران ومنظمة التحرير انفكت عراه بعد أن بدأت الحرب العراقية الإيرانية عام 1980.

لكن إيران استمرت في البحث عن أصدقاء وحلفاء جدد في الساحة الفلسطينية، فأقامت علاقات وثيقة مع حركة الجهاد في بداية الثمانينيات، وأمدتها بالأموال، وأبرزتها في إعلامها، وقد تعدّت العلاقات بين إيران وحركة الجهاد الإطار السياسي إلى الإطار الثقافي، فقد اعتب
[…]

June 10th, 2012, 12:31 pm

 
 

Tara said:

As the world dithers over Syria, shocking evidence of an entire family massacred by Assad thugs: Father finds his wife and five children among the victims of the Houla atrocity
Slaughtered son had wanted to be a doctor so he could help his brother who had cerebal palsy
Two twins aged 17 had their throat cuts and four-month old baby daughter found in pool of blood
Father had been previously arrested at demonstrations as the Arab Spring intensified
A total of 62 of the victims were from widowers extended family
UN mission head Major-General Robert Mood said killing in Houla was indiscriminate and unforgivable

By NABILA RAMDANI and IAN GALLAGHER

PUBLISHED: 19:02 EST, 9 June 2012 | UPDATED: 04:09 EST, 10 June 2012

Read more:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2157034/As-world-dithers-Syria-shocking-evidence-entire-family-massacred-Assad-thugs-Father-finds-wife-children-victims-Houla-atrocity.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

June 10th, 2012, 12:50 pm

 

zoo said:

ann #104
The ‘Tripoli effect’ failed in Damascus on Friday

This is the story circulating in Damascus.

Qatar who had staged the ‘fall’ of Tripoli was planning a similar stage “the fall of Damascus” on Friday. It is reported that the intention was to create the impression that “Damascus’ had fallen to the hands of the rebels. That would have created a panic that would have been used by the rebels to occupy the national buildings such as TV stations.
Friday evening attacks and sound bombs were used simultaneously from all the sides of Damascus from 11p.m to 3 a.m. Inhabitants described the sounds as WW2.
The Syrian Army managed to stop the attacks and repulse the armed gangs. On Saturday all was normal in Damascus.
It seems that the strategists in the opposition advised by Libyan revolutionaries are launching new scenarios after the failure of all the ones they have tried, bombs, massacres etc.. to pressure for a foreign military intervention.
After being outsmarted by the strong and united Syrian army, it is expected that there will be more attempts to give the impression that Damas or Aleppo have fallen.

In the contrary it is expected that Al Qaboun and Homs will fall into the hand of the army soon.

June 10th, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

Alan said:

Just as rock star Freddy Mercury & Queen used to sing “we will, we will rock you!!”, today’s US/UK/EU/Israeli war cry mantra goes something like this: “We will, we will BOMB you!!”.
http://www.rt.com/news/us-syria-west-bomb-388/
US sings to Syria: ‘We will, we will bomb you!’

June 10th, 2012, 12:53 pm

 

Dawoud said:

Sister TARA:

What do you think about my above comment regarding the sectarian/pro-dictator Wilayat al-faqih project in the Arab World?

June 10th, 2012, 12:54 pm

 

irritated said:

#114 Majedalkhadoon

After 9/11 and the killings in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the USA and all western countries are extremely worried about Sunni extremist terrorism ( Talibans, Jihadist, FIS etc..)

Only Israel and its protectors are worried about Shia “terrorism”.

June 10th, 2012, 1:05 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

Congratulation to the revolution.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Israel+accuses+Syria+genocide+urges+intervention/6759506/story.html

Israel accuses Syria of genocide, urges intervention

June 10th, 2012, 1:07 pm

 

Tara said:

Dawoud

I find it difficult to believe there is a Persian project to Shiaa-ize the Sunnis without concrete evidence. We should be careful in regard to believing stories like that as these stories can lead to more radicalization, sectarianism, and blood.

In any case, just from theology point of view and with all due respect to Shiism, I find it near impossible to get Sunnis to convert into Shiaa as Sunnis do not believe in making someone holy, therefore the whole concept of the Twelver” is just rather not appealing to Sunnis.

June 10th, 2012, 1:11 pm

 

zoo said:

UN observers video shows rebels throwing rocket-propelled grenades at local power plant in Damascus

http://www.rt.com/news/damascus-syria-clashes-rebels-515/

The Syrian capital was the site of the most severe level of violence between troops and rebels, Saturday, since the start of the uprising. It lasted for 12 hours, and UN monitors reported that Syrian rebels launched grenades at a local power plant.

The fighting took place overnight, and lasted until the early hours Saturday. Residents reported a copious amount of gunfire emanating from both sides.

At one point, rebels launched rocket-propelled grenades at a local power plant, damaging parts of it, and incinerating six buses in the process. This was confirmed by a UN observer video taken in the aftermath of the clashes.

June 10th, 2012, 1:18 pm

 

DAWOUD said:

130. Tara

I agree with you that Sunnis would never accept Iran’s offer to convert. The Iranian government is wasting Iranian people’s money in order to “buy” something that will never be bought! However, had Bashar been Sunni and most Syrians Shi’a, do you think that the Iranian government would have supported the Syrian shabiha regime?

June 10th, 2012, 1:18 pm

 

bronco said:

#130 Tara

You’ll be surprised to know that these theological considerations have no effect whatsoever on people deciding to convert. Most convert for very practical reasons.
In Lebanon many Sunnis who had only daughters converted to Shia, simply because the inheritance laws of Sunnis would have prevented his daughters to inherit him, while the Shia inheritance laws would grant them rights on the their father’s heritage.

This is less rare in the Arab world than you think.

June 10th, 2012, 1:22 pm

 

bronco said:

#132 Dawood

Iran is a staunch supporter and one the largest fund provider to Hamas, a 100% Sunni organization.
Iran seem to follow that scheme: Politics first, religion second.

June 10th, 2012, 1:26 pm

 

DAWOUD said:

134. bronco

Having seen Iran’s sectarian support for the murder of freedom-seeking revolting Sunnis in Syria, Palestinian Islamists (and Palestinians in general) have dramatically changed their perception and feeling regarding the Iranian Wilayat al-faqih project. For example, Ismail Haniyah was giving a Friday Khutbah at al-Azhar University while hundreds of Musaleen (prayer attendees) were chanting “No Iran, No Hizballah, Syria is Arab and Islamic!” He never said a word and seemed to approve what they said. Palestinians’ principles cannot be bought by “100%” Iranian money. In fact, the media had many reports regarding Iran’s stoppage of sending money to Gaza because of Palestinians’ rejection of Bashar’s Shabiha regime.

June 10th, 2012, 1:34 pm

 

Tara said:

Dawoud

It is my understanding that Alawism was made an “offshoot” of Shiism for political and other reasons, perhsps also to prevent prrsecution. It could be a stand alone religion. I doubt ordinary shiaa identify with Alawites. (Mjabali, correct me if I am wrong). I do not think Iran’s relationship with Assad stems from religious commradery. I think it stems from Assad playing a proxy role providing material help to the Shiite HA. I might be wrong, but this is my understanding.

June 10th, 2012, 1:41 pm

 
 

Dawoud said:

136. Tara

It doesn’t really matter because, as far as the Wilyat al-faqih Iranian government is concerned, it would support anything but a majority Sunni government is Syria! Keeping Syrian Sunnis without any significant influence is Tehran’s preferred option for Syria.

June 10th, 2012, 1:45 pm

 

SALAH ADDIN said:

DAWOUD#122.
Iran since 1979 has done more for the Palestinian cause, than most Arab and other Muslim countries have done since. Iranians are Muslim and are part of the Muslim Ummah, inspite of some ignorant bigots that wish to deny them their belonging to the Muslim Ummah.
Hizbillah is part of a legitimate government and a duly elected parliament, in accordance with the Lebanese constitution.
The governing system in Iran is more representative than most Arab Kingdoms, Princedoms and Fiefdoms.
You might disagree with the Iranian system, but then you don’t live in Iran and don’t have the privilege or right to vote on it.
The Shia in Lebanon live by the Lebanese constitution and are diversified in their affiliation. Some are with Hizbillah, some with Amal, some with Al-Mustaqbal such as representative Eeqab Sakr, some are independent or with other parties of the diverse Lebanese political mosaic.
In Iraq the same thing, the Shia members are duly elected, and Sistani’s influence, is limited to his religious standing, where the Iraqis are governed by a civil government.
The article you have referenced, equating the zionist threat to the Arabic Ummah to an inexistent threat from Iran’s Welayat Al-Faqih, is misleading and ignorant. The only purpose that this article might serve, is to generate ignorance and hate among Muslims and Arabs of diverse sects.
As a Palestinian refugee yourself, I would have expected you to know better, and be grateful for the Iranian commitment to the Palestinian cause.
Free Palestine, Freedom for all Arabs and Muslims.

June 10th, 2012, 1:52 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

A conversion like that is for secondary gain. I would doubt very much that a convert like that would practice true Shiism.

June 10th, 2012, 1:56 pm

 

Ghufran said:

سامح نجيب
أولاً: إن الإسلام السياسي بمختلف قواه يستهدف الوصول إلى السلطة، ويستخدم الدين بشكل انتهازي لتحقيق أغراضه.
ثانياً: إنه مجرد أداة من أدوات الطبقة الرأسمالية.
ثالثاً: ما بين الجماعات الإسلامية مثل الإخوان المسلمين والجماعات المسلحة مثل الجهاد ليس إلا تقسيم عمل بين استخدام العنف من جانب، والتسلل داخل مؤسسات الدولة من الجانب الآخر، والهدف في الحالتين هو الاستيلاء على السلطة.
رابعاً: إن المواجهة بين هذه الجماعات والأنظمة ليس إلا تنافساً بين قطاعات مختلفة من الطبقة الحاكمة، وهو تنافس وصراع حول السلطة سواء حدث ذلك بشكل مسلح كما في الجزائر أو بشكل سياسي كما في حال الإخوان المسلمين في مصر.
خامساً: لا يوجد أي تناقض بين الإسلام السياسي والعولمة الرأسمالية والليبرالية الجديدة بل إن هناك تكاملاً بينهم.
وسادساً: إن الإسلام السياسي ليس معادياً للإمبريالية، بأي شكل من الأشكال بل إنه أفضل من يخدم الإمبريالية وأن الاستثناءات مثل حماس وحزب الله ليست سوى نتيجة طبيعية للجغرافيا السياسية التي تضع مثل هذه الحركات في مواجهة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وبالتالي في خانة العداء للدور الأمريكي في المنطقة.

June 10th, 2012, 2:00 pm

 

Tara said:

Dawoud

“Palestinians’ principles cannot be bought by “100%” Iranian money.

I like that.

June 10th, 2012, 2:06 pm

 

Juergen said:

Photos of a training camp of the FSA near Idleb

click through the pics

I liked that one where two fighers jumped through firerings, well they surely want to make the lion jealous…

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/syrien-rebellen-trainieren-fuer-den-kampf-gegen-assad-fotostrecke-83413.html

June 10th, 2012, 2:10 pm

 

DAWOUD said:

139. SALAH ADDIN
You say:

“[…]The article you have referenced, equating the zionist threat to the Arabic Ummah to an inexistent threat from Iran’s Welayat Al-Faqih, is misleading and ignorant[…]

I reply to you with the following points:

1. Although Zionists and Wilayat al-faqih both pose danger/threat to the Arab world, I see Zionists as posing the greater danger.

2. Given their history of diaspora/exile/occupation, Palestinians are overwhelmingly supportive of freedom and justice. Therefore, it is unsurprising that they overwhelmingly support the Syria Revolt against Bashar’s shabiha regime.

3. al-Assad’s regime has a lot of Palestinian blood on its hand. Who supported Nabih Berri’s (leader of the sectarian/terrorist Amal movement) siege of the defenseless Palestinian camps in Lebanon in the mid-1980s? Didn’t Hafez create Palestinian factions and use them against Arafat and other Palestinians? Do you remember the Tripoli camp war? Who committed the Tal al-Za’atar massacre?

4. I was never and admirer of Rafiq al-Hariri, but he (nor anybody else) deserved to be assassinated. Who assassinated al-Hariri in a huge terrorist bombing in Beirut? Syria’s Shabiha regime and Nasrillat’s Hizbistan did it.

5. Who is now supporting Nuri al-Maliki’s sectarian terror in Iraq. Iran’s Wilayat al-Faqih is. What did Nuri al-Maliki and Moqtadah al-Sadr do to the embattled Palestinian refugees in Iraq. They killed, persecuted, and deported them!

6. I visited Occupied Jerusalem as a teenager in the 1980s during Hafez al-Assad’s war on the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Arab graffiti on Palestinians’ walls read “la li-ibn al-Zania Hafez!” I hope that you know what it means, although I am respectful enough not to translate it here.

June 10th, 2012, 2:16 pm

 

Osama said:

Dear SNC,

What’s the deal? You went from having one stiff uncharismatic leader to an even stiffer and even more uncharismatic choice… I understand compromise can be painful, but you’ve managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory yet again…. Smooth move.

Unfortunately, I have only seen short clips on the news, can someone share a link to Mr. Sayda’s inaugural address. Also, anything else that can give us clue to the an and I don’t mean NATO approved biographies 🙂

I suspect the Kurdish media will soon be reflecting the disappointment in the Turkish-approved choice for the leadership of the SNC…

June 10th, 2012, 2:19 pm

 

Norman said:

Syria is in a civil war and the government in Syria is hiding it’s head in the sand, it has to show the world that Sunni are killing Shia and Christians in Syria and the Shia are fighting back as the government apparently too reluctant to protect, when the government lacks resolve then the people will carry arms and defend themselves and that is a civil war, DR Landis is not wrong in saying as it is, yes, A Civil war that will lead if the Syrian army is not given the cover to do in Syria what it did in Lebanon, shooting at both side into submission, then Syria will be divided.

June 10th, 2012, 2:36 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad must go for political detentions before the revolution
Assad must go for tortures commited before the revolution
Assad must go for corruption at all levels of the State
Assad must go for being illegitimate president of Syria
Assad must go for not having been elected by people of Syria
Assad must go for being unable bearing a President responsability
Assad must go for launching the army against unarmed demostrators
Assad must go for bombing entire cities opposing the regime
Assad must go for promoting sectarian milicias against the people
Assad must go for letting foreign milicias kill syrians
Assad must go for conspiracy in terrorism actions
Assad must go for detentions, abuses, tortures, thefts, crimes, rapes, lies, deceptions, conspiracy and paranoia during the syrian people´s revolution.

June 10th, 2012, 3:03 pm

 

Osama said:

Here is a summary of the latest Russian proposal to create a contact group to deal with Syrian crisis:

http://un-report.blogspot.com/2012/06/russian-non-paper-concept-of.html?spref=bl&m=1

I would expect the NATO GCC axis to reject it or to kill it somehow…

In other news, William Hague has characterized the Syrian crisis as resembling Bosnia, I suspect that this is a British attempt to move to asking the UN to create “safe havens” most likely in the pockets that the FSA can manage to create by force, then after sufficient provocation from the FSA, air strikes can be launched to “protect” the safe havens, this can allow for safe operating bases and smooth resupply operations and then an opportunity to “degrade” the Syrian army.

June 10th, 2012, 3:07 pm

 

Ghufran said:

The appointment of Abdel Baset Sida as the new head of the SNC reflects the leadership problem at the SNC and the opposition as a whole. It is clear that the man lacks charisma and political experience and he also lacks ambition which made him a perfect fit for the fractured body of the SNC.

June 10th, 2012, 3:20 pm

 

Alan said:

the man lacks charisma tо invite NATO under section 7?

June 10th, 2012, 3:27 pm

 

Osama said:

149. Alan

I am sorry, I did not get your point?

June 10th, 2012, 3:28 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

After all an interesting point in the appointment of Abdel Baset Sida is that he is a kurd. It will ease the implication of kurds in the free Syria project. We are talking about the largest ethnic minority in Syria that socio-politically represent an important segment of the base of Syria population with little to lose (economically and politically) and too much to proffit or improve in their status.

Sometimes the one that enters with poorest expectations tend to be the best as time passes.

June 10th, 2012, 3:32 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad must go for his stupid speeches and take all the clowns in parliament with him. Assef Shawkat and Maher Al Assad will be waiting for them in paradise. Probably Hafez Al Assad will be waiting for them too but not to offer them a warm reception but for hanging them in the highest tree of Paradise.

June 10th, 2012, 3:41 pm

 

jna said:

65. Juergen said: ….

Juergen, thanks very much for the frank information regarding Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the author Rainer Hermann. Such contradictory accounts coming out of Houla! I urge Joshua to feature this article to provide an alternative account. I hope the UN monitors can sift through it all and publically present their investigative results of these horrible acts.

June 10th, 2012, 3:50 pm

 

Alan said:

MKO tasks 2 battalions to stir unrests in Syria
http://www.habilian.ir/en/News/mko-tasks-2-battalions-to-stir-unrests-in-syria.html
The terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCR) has tasked 400 terrorists with stirring unrests in Syria, head of an Iran-based rights disclosed on Saturday.

According to Seyed Mohammad Javad Hasheminejad, secretary-general of the Habilian Association – a human rights group formed of the families of 17,000 Iranian terror victims – the revelation was made by a highly trusted MKO veteran who used to serve the MKO ringleader, Maryam Rajavi, as her highly confided interpreter in top secret sessions with former Iraqi regime officials and US authorities.

Hasheminejad said he had informed Syria of MKO’s meddling during a meeting with Syrian Ambassador to Tehran.

Hasheminejad had told the Syrian envoy late in May that MKO is preparing itself to stage a massive terrorist operation in Syria.

“We hold proof and authentic documents showing an extensive and all-round presence of this terrorist organization in Syria. This terrorist grouplet is using all its possibilities to stage terrorist and sabotage operations in Syria,” he said at the time.

[…]

June 10th, 2012, 3:55 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

I think all the analysis about who did the Houla massacre or where do arms come from are useless at this point of the contest. If Damascus bombs are the job of Assad or not. If this or that are died or not. Although answers are basically clear for most observers.

The main fact for me is that a regime that bullets its own people demonstrating peacefully as happened in Daraa from Day 1 is simply out of reality and internationally over.

Let fighters fight and let´s begin talk about what future Syria should be when Assad is ousted from power. War is of such nature that analysis and talks don´t affect to its development once ignited. Once again we can foresee the results but not the details of war. Assad will finally be ousted and probably assassinated before trial.

June 10th, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

Alan said:

Alan Such language directed at other commentators is completely unacceptable, do not personalize your responses in such away.

SC Moderator

148. OSAMA said:
I would expect the NATO GCC axis to reject it or to kill it somehow…

you on subconsciousness have no feeling of the owner of a situation! It is necessary to you another’s bitches as NATO or GCC what to execute your wishes! you aren’t worthy to be independent!

June 10th, 2012, 4:03 pm

 

Hans said:

The newly elected SNC chair, he is not Syrian, living in Sweden for 20 years makes a person not part of the mother land. He doesn’t represent the Syrians or the Kurds.
The reasons he was elected because KSA rejected the name of George Sabra ( who is a communist and doesn’t represent the christian either) given he is christian and because the MB wants to give the SNC a sugar glaze that it is not a radical or overwhelmed by the radical element.

The reason he was elected is a total double play game by the SNC to sugar coat the true nature of the SNC.
I truly believe that none of the SNC members represent the Syrians, they are the parasites who found an opportunity through the perfect circumstances to come on the power play.
Al chalabi is no different than any of the SNC members.
all corrupt, all power and money hungry.
the state department has spent millions of $ on this people to bring them together and they are still fighting from within due to core problem within the group.
if Syria is ruled by anyone of them then it is a proof that the game play is on and Syria is going back ward. Each member has his/her own agenda and non of them is the Syrian agenda.
Israel is only winner with the help of the KSA, GCC and obviously the USA.

June 10th, 2012, 4:06 pm

 

SALAH ADDIN said:

DAWOUD#144
We are comparing the threat of Zionism to the Arab Ummah, which is a real and existing threat, and which have caused the suffering of millions of Palestinians and Arabs, to an imaginary threat which is Welayat Al-Faqeeh.
You use as evidence the history of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon, to say the Welayat Al-Faqeeh is a threat. I don’t see any correlation.
Although I am against the spilling of one drop of Palestinian blood, I have to be objective by putting some of the blame on the Palestinian factions themselves, for what happened to them in Jordan, by King Hussain, and in Lebanon later.
The Palestinians ignored the fact that they were refugees in Lebanon, and considered their camps to be beyond the laws of Lebanon. They engaged the Lebanese Army and Police in gun battles, provoking a large part of the Lebanese population, to withdraw their support to their plight and demanding that, they be dealt with by the Lebanese Security Forces and Army.
The Palestinians then took sides in the Lebanese civil war, and thus turned their camps, such as Tall Al-Zaatar into a threatening military base to the opposite forces.
The Palestinian factions did not fight Amal exclusively. They fought with leftist Lebanese. They fought with right wing militias. they fought Christian militias. They fought among themselves, as they were many factions that made up the PLO. Their internal rivalries were always intense and ended in gun battles on many occasions. The last big fight that Hamas had with Fatah in Gaza, is a recent example to the tragic bloody history that you are using as evidence. And the recent Nahr Al-Bared took place in Tripoli too. Non of that was due to Welayat Al-Faqih doctrine or any other religious doctrine, whether Sunni or Shia, Muslim or Christian.
Whereas Zionism is a doctrine that has, as a consequence, the displacement and victimization of an entire population, the Palestinians, and therefore a threat to the Arabic Ummah.
The rivalries among the factions of the PLO, Fatah, Democratic Front, Popular Front, General Command, Ayloul Al-Aswad, Al-Saeeqa, to name a few, led them to each rely on their own sponsors. Some had Naser and the Nasserite party. Some had the Iraqi Baath party. Some had the Syrian Baath party. As these sponsors competed in their politics, so did their proxies among the PLO factions.
As far as to what happened to the Palestinians in Iraq under Maliki. It is not any different than what happened, when the Gulf Countries kicked the Palestinians and Jordanians out, for supporting Saddam, in his invasion of Kuwait.
What you read on the wall in Jerusalem, was used to call every leader, President, King, Prince, or PLO faction chief, at one time or another. Arab politics in general, and Palestinian in particular is rough and violent. We know our history very well. I bet you were a strong supporter of Hizbillah and Amal, when Israel was trying to kill anything that moved in Dahyeh in 2006.
As far as the Hariri assassination, there is no credible evidence to support your accusation, and I am afraid you have been mislead, like a lot of Arabs to believe a trumped up charge, by the enemies of Palestinians and Arabs.
I hope that I was able to put your grievances in a more objective perspective.
Like the Palestinians are sensitive to freedom and justice. Other Arabs have always looked at the Palestinian cause as the number one cause, even when they disagreed with them in their politics.
That goes for all Arabs and all Muslims, including Syrian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Iranians.

Free Palestine, and freedom for all Arabs and Muslims.

June 10th, 2012, 4:16 pm

 

Norman said:

The government and the opposition should stop trying to unite and should reach a deal on the political system and let the voters decide, I like the American system as people vote for their representatives from their own town and districts, people they know, I was watching TV today and the Mayer of Calgary Canada is Muslim, he was asked how did he get there , he said that the people from the outside were surprised but the people of his town said, yes we know him , he is from the north end of town, people will forget their prejudice when they know the people on the personal level, that is the only way for Syria to have democracy, the American constitution, American bill of rights and the American system of government and economics.

June 10th, 2012, 4:36 pm

 

Hans said:

More and more independents media reports, revealing that the masacres in Syria are committed by the arm rebels, foreign/arabs mercenaries who are paid by the KAS/GCC.
it is clear that the barbaric attack against Syria is beyond the legit demands of the innocent Syrians who wants their country back with out the oppression of the regime.
The interesting part that the western governments are aware of who are committing the masacres but refuse to admitted, probably because this masacres are in coordination with such entities.
it is also clear that Syria is in civil war, the Syrians are dying at a rate where the regime never caused such fatalities in over 40 years.
If the democracy Syrian people are paying for with blood is similar to the democracy in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Egypt then Syria is much better off with a repressive regime than then former democracy.

June 10th, 2012, 4:41 pm

 

Tara said:

Can the Alawi supporters dig themselves any deeper hole?  Instead of striving to distance themselves?   Did they forget that Bashar is mortal and justice will sure be served…    

Syria’s Alawites call on Bashar al-Assad to be tougher
Over the course of Syria’s 15-month uprising President Bashar al-Assad has been accused of many things. Being too soft on his opponents was not one of them.

By Adrian Blomfield, Middle East Correspondent6:11PM BST 10 Jun 2012

But as the corpse of a fighter was buried in a loyalist suburb of Homs last week, assembled mourners denounced him for exactly that, chanting: “Bashar has become a Sunni”.

..more
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9322923/Syrias-Alawites-call-on-Bashar-al-Assad-to-be-tougher.html

June 10th, 2012, 4:47 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Thanks Tara,

Nice introduction to the photo:

¨Recruited from the ruling elite’s Alawite sect, the militiamen known as ‘shabiha’ carry out some of the most ghastly attacks of Syria’s violent conflict, allowing the regime to deny any direct responsibility.¨

This sentence should be enough to understand what is undergoing in Syria.

June 10th, 2012, 5:00 pm

 

Dawoud said:

159. SALAH ADDIN

You say:

“[..] I bet you were a strong supporter of Hizbillah and Amal, when Israel was trying to kill anything that moved in Dahyeh in 2006[…]”

99% of Arabs, who are 90% Sunni Muslims, supported the Shi’a Lebanese in 2006. Qatar gave money to rebuild Nasrillat’s Dhahiya. “Thank you Qatar” was the banner in Lebanon!!!!!! Now, what happened? Well, Nasrillat put his sectarian allegiance and personal interests above those of Arabs’ and Muslims’ aspirations for freedom by supporting Bashar’s Shabiha regime!!!!!!!! Hafez and Bashar represent the worst Arab dictatorship. I don’t support dictatorships, regardless of their sectarian affiliation. I was against Mubarak, ben Ali, Saleh, and I am very critical of ALL Arab regimes. I refuse to see that Palestinians’ legitimate cause is used to beautify any dictatorial regime.
I commemorated every year the 1948 Deir Yasin Zionist massacre of Palestinians. Sadly, we have seen many “Deir Yassins” in Syria since last year. Regardless of Bashar’s apologists on this blog say, these massacres are committed by BASHR’S SHABIHA REGIME! This regime has no shame! Didn’t you hear Bashar al-Ja’afari quoting Nizar Qabani at the U.N.?! Who killed Qabani’s beloved Iraqi wife, Belqis, in 1981 or 1982? Hafez al-Assad and Iran’s Shi’a allies in Lebanon carried out a terrorist bombing in Beirut that destroyed the Iraqi embassy and killed Belqis. Still, al-Ja’afari quotes Qabani’s poetry! No shame! The regime that carried al-Houla massacre 2 weeks ago is the same one that carried out the Tal Az’Za’atar Massacre against Palestinians. Had Palestinian refugees in Lebanon were Shi’a, instead of Sunni, Nasrillat would have not only supported their civil rights, but he would have advocated giving them Lebanese passports. Surely, Jordan give Palestinian refugees passport and this DOES NOT MEAN THAT PALESTINIANS ARE GIVING UP THEIR RIGHT OF RETURN. The Lebanese should not hide behind Palestinians’ sacred right of return.

June 10th, 2012, 5:02 pm

 

DAWOUD said:

In 2006, Qatari money made NasrIllat and his stooges sing:

“Thank you Qatar!” “Thank you Qatar!” “Thank you Qatar!”

Aal-Thani wasn’t the “non-gracious” son! He was الامير الطيب (the kind Amir)!

I guess “money talks, bul**t walks!” Still, Iran can beat Qatar with NasrIllat because it offers him both money and sectarian allegiance!

June 10th, 2012, 5:20 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Ra-ed Salah said it,and it is true
He said The victory to the Palastinians comes from the victory of the Syrian revolution.

The Syrian revolution,is not for Freedom and dignity for the Syrian people only, it is for All the Arab,so they will all be free, and we will see after this victory, we will see unification of Arab, and yes Norman who support Baath principals will be happy and proud.
The Egyptian revolution has not reached its goal yet, it will when Syrian overthrow Assad to the trash bin of history.
The Arab spring is only the begining, the fruits will be Arab unity,the emergence of the Arab

June 10th, 2012, 5:36 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tunisia.

Qaeda’s Zawahri calls on Tunisians to defend sharia.
Al Qaeda’s leader called on Tunisians on Sunday to defend Islamic law from an Islamist party that won elections in the North African country and promised not to impose sharia.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/06/10/uk-tunisia-qaeda-zawahri-idUKBRE8590D820120610

Mina, your reaction to this? Thanks!
.

June 10th, 2012, 5:37 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

A video titled:

10s of thousands Lions from Daraa pledge to Allah, praise Muhammad, threatens Nasrallah | 9 June ’12

June 10th, 2012, 5:45 pm

 

Dawoud said:

168. UZAIR8

I have just the video. Anybody watching it will know that there is NO turning back! Bashar and Nasrillat will be defeated!

June 10th, 2012, 5:58 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Majed,

I’m sorry to disappoint you my friend. The Arabs will never unite. They are unable to unite. You live in an illusion world.

First, after the revolutions settle, the Arabs will be occupied for many years (probably tens of years) with rebuilding what the juntas and dictators did manage to destroy. They will have no time for BS.

Secondly, the Arabs are “ununitable” by nature. The moderator will not like what I say, but the recent Arab history proved it once and again. Generalizing, Arabs do not trust fellow Arabs. Why? I have no answer. But it is a fact. Any way, until proved otherwise. A modern Saladin will find his mission impossible.
.

June 10th, 2012, 6:01 pm

 

habib said:

110. SANDRO LOEWE

Incorrect, the regime calls it the coastal mountain range.

In this context, Ansariyeh was a mistransliteration of Nusayrieh, used by Western scholars in the 19th century. It has never been called Ansari by Arabs, only perhaps due to this old mistake.

June 10th, 2012, 6:02 pm

 

SALAH ADDIN said:

Salah Addin small variance in imputing your email address caused your comment to be held up in Moderation.

SC Moderator

DAWOUD#164.
A massacre carried out by an Arab against an Arab, is more painful than one carried out by the Zionist enemy, period.
Like I said, I do not condone the spilling of one drop of Palestinian blood, or any Arab blood, period.
By trying to shed some light on the circumstances, that led to some of the tragedies befallen the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, I in no way would be justifying the killing of the Palestinian refugees living in these camps. But it is important to level with the fact, that the Palestinians themselves were partly to blame, by turning a refugee camp, like Tal AlZaatar, into a military base and bastion, with potent fire power shelling and threatening its surrounding suburbs, and cutting off east Beirut from the Mountain.
As far as citizenship and passports. It was an Arab decision a long time ago by Arab Governments, to support the Palestinians and the PLO, but to keep their status as citizens of Palestine, including their travel documents. The only reason that Jordan gave Palestinians citizenship, was due to the fact that the West Bank area was considered part of the Kingdom from 1948 to 1967.
Neither Hizbillah nor any other party in Lebanon could change the status of citizenship of Palestinians in Lebanon, although Hizbillah is on the record, in supporting the granting of full civil rights to Palestinians in Lebanon, which will address existing discrimination in employment, eduction, health services, and all civil liberties.
Hizbillah said that they support the reforms in Syria and they would like to see a peaceful transition into a democratic form of government. They clearly understand compromise and the need to do so in politics. The proof is that they gave up a Shia seat to have an extra Sunni minister in the Miqati government. Why don’t you give them the benefit of the doubt, that they are sincere in them wishing for a peaceful change to democracy in Syria?
Did we digress from the subject at hand, a real threat from Zionism vs. imaginary threat from the Welayat Al-Faqih doctrine?

June 10th, 2012, 6:10 pm

 

Dawoud said:

Somebody stole my son’s new iphone! I reported it to police, and kept looking for it until I found it! Somebody told on the thief! Similarly, Palestinians will never stop looking for their stolen land until it is returned to them!

June 10th, 2012, 6:22 pm

 

Tara said:

Amir

I think the world has not yet seen the real personality, abilities, and/or limitations of the Arabs. From colonialism, to oppression. Any judgement to be passed on the Arabs should be postponed until they are free.

Take the expats for an example, many are successful beyond measure, …while boring and average in their homelands. In my opinion, the real identity of the Arabs needs to be
revealed..

We may have a trust issue… It is based on learned experience all these years of oppression…

June 10th, 2012, 6:27 pm

 

Dawoud said:

171. SALAH ADDIN

You say:

“Hizbillah said that they support the reforms in Syria and they would like to see a peaceful transition into a democratic form of government.”

Two problems with your logic:

1) a 43-year-old dictatorship can’t initiate reform now. Even if it means it, which is not true, it is too late! Regime figures who kill innocent demonstrators and commit massacres should be looking for defense lawyers and NOT talking reform. Reform is something that people should do AFTER they bring down the dictatorial regime. It shouldn’t be : حاميها حراميها
2) Nasillat knows that Bashar is not genuine about reform. He just says that to justify his unjustifiable support for the dictator.
3)In one of his cult of personality speeches طله, Nasrillat pointed his finger at all of us and said that “the Syrian regime will not fall!” Shame on him and his Syrian Shabiha regime!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

June 10th, 2012, 6:31 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The Palestinians are first of all Arabs. They are Arabs that their fellow Arabs did put in refugees camps for political reasons. Yes, I’m not naive. I know why the Arabs keep their Palestinian brothers in refugees camps (perpetuating the Arab-Jewish conflict, anyone?).

But I see the shameful aspect of this behavior.
Can you imagine a Jew who puts a fellow Jew in a refugees camp? Can you imagine Amir in TLV, living happily in his nice little apartment in a fancy neighborhood in Tel Aviv, while a brother Jew, deprived of his basic human rights, lives in a refugee camp in different Tel Aviv neighborhood? Not in a million years.
.

June 10th, 2012, 6:37 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara,

Do not misunderstand me. I’m not gloating.
May be you are right, “Any judgment to be passed on the Arabs should be postponed until they are free”.

“…Take the expats for an example, many are successful beyond measure, …while boring and average in their homelands”. This is exactly my point. When they are not among fellow untrusted Arabs, they’re successful. Put them back in Arabia, and their success isn’t guarantied any more.
.

June 10th, 2012, 6:45 pm

 

KDD said:

“A Christian from Marmarita in the Wadi Nasara (Christian Valley region just south of the Alawite mountains and north of Lebanon.)”

Some imagination went into the development of this story. I especially like the mini-novel that starts by exclaiming: “at one point, Crac de Chevaliers became a multinational hub of Afghani, Libyans and Lebanese bearded men.”

I assume by “bearded men” the individual is alluding to Sunni Jihadists. But with respect to the “multinational hub” – I am surprised about the presence of Afghanis. Only few Libyans have made it through. Lebanese are understandable, border’s right there. I wonder how they all met and found themselves in this castle? That’s some coordination to organize these jihadists from different lands together.

I never visited this castle, I would certainly like to.

June 10th, 2012, 6:59 pm

 

SALAH ADDIN said:

DAWOUD#174.
I think that Bashar was able to convince the Arab League observers, of at least part of his side of the story and his side of the facts on the ground, as was evident by their written report. If Bashar were such a persuasive manipulator, who could fool the Arab League observers, why then could he not use the same persuasive arguments and set of facts, to get Hizbillah to buy into his reforms and his agenda.
Remember again that Hizbillah said that they are on the side of the Syrian people, and that there was a majority that supports peaceful transition, and I am not saying that a majority is or is not supporting the regime, but a majority who supports peaceful change (silmiyeh).
As for Nasrallah pointing his finger. It was not at all of us at all. He lives in a bunker under constant threat of assassination by Israel. That finger was directed to Israel who wants him dead, and in his opinion, wants a regime change in Syria, in order to cut Hizbillah’s supply line and kill them.

Free Palestine, and Freedom to all Arabs and Muslims.

June 10th, 2012, 7:14 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Should confirm first.

Seems to be breaking news about Hosni Mubarak’s state.

Btw Dear moderator I received the e-mail and also replied to it.

June 10th, 2012, 7:26 pm

 

Dawoud said:

179. SALAH ADDIN

Ok, unlike the regime supporters here (although you seem to support Hasan/Bashar), I have some kind of admiration for you. Why?

1) You are an exiled Palestinian who must have seen it all. I have Palestinian component to my being. Those of you who live in Lebanon are the most unfortunate Palestinians. You suffered from forced exile, suffered from repeated Israeli attacks/war crimes, and still suffer from Lebanon’s sectarian system that denies you civil rights on the unconvincing excuse of “right of return.” Having civil rights does not mean that you shouldn’t have civil rights! Nasrillat is a complicit in this excuse because the overwhelming majority of Palestinian refugees are Sunni. Only, Walid Junblatt speaks favorably about Palestinian refugees’ civil rights.
2) I am NOT convinced that Nasrillat is supporting Bashar because he wants a peaceful transition. His repeated cult of personality speeches suggest otherwise. Also, and this is very important, the Hizbistan media and affiliated pundits make it very clear that Bashar is an ideal reform leader! They blame everybody but Syria’s 43-year-old dictatorship for the current tragedy.
3)No one can deny that Der’ah’s first uprising was both peaceful and spontaneous. Even Robert Fisk wrote how Der’ah residents returned weapons that the regime intentionally put on the street (the regime wanted peaceful demonstrators to pick up the weapons and shoot at the army so that it could crush them and claim that they were fighting “armed terrorists”). Only after weeks and months of killing that Syrians, including defected soldiers, realized that they had to fight to protect their lives, dignity, property, and honor!

Free Syria, Free Palestine, Salute to Palestinians’/Syrians’ “stones vs. firearms” resistance!

June 10th, 2012, 7:27 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

There is important news,one major defection,Regiment 743,which has SAM missles has defected, they showed on Arabiyeh,those big missles and Assad planes bombarding the regiment.

In Lebanon kidnaping is going on , Sunni Alawi kidnaping.

June 10th, 2012, 7:27 pm

 

bronco said:

Having failed to attract Kurds, Christians and Alawis to their cause, the SNC has come up with the scheme of a turning table for their leadership:

First a Sunni, then a Kurd, next a Christian and finally a Alawi, maybe.
They hope that this way, they will reassure the minorities of their good intention.

The new Kurdish-Swedish leader is ambitious. He immediately called for massive defections within the government and the army, sit-ins and massive strikes.
Let’s see if his calls will be more successful than the failed calls from Ghaliun

June 10th, 2012, 7:58 pm

 

bronco said:

#140 Tara

Do you know a lot of people who practice truly their religion?

June 10th, 2012, 8:09 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Bronco
That is how much you know
You said’
First a Sunni, then a Kurd
Are you aware that the Kurds are Sunni?
Are you aware that Burhan Ghalioun root is Kurd?

US said that Abu Yahya is dead, today we hear
تنظيم القاعدة للأميركيين: أبو يحيى الليبي لا يزال على قيد الحياة

June 10th, 2012, 8:12 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

It is good to be smart and ambitious…and some charisma on top of that…would be great combination. It is pretty smart that they chose a minority at this time.

The revolution in my opinion has been a success. I remember Auntie Buthina’ s famous statement “Khalset” 2 wks later. The fact that it has not Khalset yet is a success on its own. Yes the sacrifices were tremendous, but no one expected any easier.

June 10th, 2012, 8:14 pm

 

zoo said:

Israel officials accuse Iran for the violence in Syria
Associated Press – 9 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/israel-officials-condemn-violence-syria-103013779.html

JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday led a chorus of Israeli officials expressing outrage over the bloodshed in Syria, accusing Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah militants of complicity in the carnage there.

Israel is anxiously watching developments in the neighboring country, fearing widening instability in the region. With dozens killed in ferocious weekend battles, a string of top Israeli officials sounded alarms over the deteriorating situation in Syria and called for international intervention.

Netanyahu accused Syria’s powerful, anti-Israel allies of helping the regime of President Basher Assad to brutally suppress the 15-month-old rebellion.

“This massacre is not executed by the Syrian government alone; it is assisted by Iran and Hezbollah, and the world should realize this is a concentrated axis of evil: Iran, Syria and Hezbollah,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

June 10th, 2012, 8:15 pm

 

SALAH ADDIN said:

DAWOUD#181.
I appreciate your feelings and admiration and I reciprocate.
Nasrallah gave his son as a martyr for the liberation of Arab Lebanese land, in fighting the brutal Israeli occupation. And I am convinced he would not spare his other children or himself, if the same duty were to call.
When Nasrallah gives a speech, although he may sound like he is giving a pep talk to his followers, delivered in a pompous and arrogant alluring manner, he is in fact engaged in a war of wits with his main antagonist, who has a huge price on his head, the Israeli war machine.
Nasrallah is for full civil rights for the Palestinians in Lebanon and he is on the record about it.
As for the majority of the Palestinians in Lebanon being Sunni Muslims, and therefore that might be a reason for Hizbillah to be against giving full rights, it makes absolutely no sense, for the simple fact that the Taef accords and Taef constitution has already specified the confessional divisions, and the share of power, regardless of actual numbers, providing a reasonable balance of power, between the many religions and sects making up the Lebanese mosaic.

Free Palestine, and Freedom to all Arabs and Muslims.

June 10th, 2012, 8:15 pm

 

bronco said:

# Tara

You have been an optimistic too. Ghaliun was a disaster and I am not sure another academician will do better. Does he have a sister in law to help?

June 10th, 2012, 8:18 pm

 

zoo said:

AKP’s voters want to have calmer policy on Syria : poll

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/akps-voters-want-to-have-calmer-policy-on-syria–poll.aspx?pageID=238&nID=22828&NewsCatID=338

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
The goverment’s foreign policy performance is among the primary reasons for the eletorate to vote for the ruling AKP, says a prominent pollster for the AKP. Voters believe Turkey has become a powerful player in the international arena, although they prefer a calmer stance on Syria, says İbrahim Uslu

more…

June 10th, 2012, 8:22 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

No need for a sister in law.

Let’s hope he has a glamorous blond Sweden wife of Syrian parents. Will dress her in Christian Loboutini shoes ( no spikes please..it offends my passion about shoes), Chanel outfit, and will hail her as the next best thing… Then we are all set.

June 10th, 2012, 8:31 pm

 

bronco said:

MajedalKaldoon #185

The majority of Kurds are Sunnis, but not all Kurds are Sunnis, some are shia, some are zardoust, yezidi or even christians.
Kurds are not Arabs, they are closer ethnically to Persians ( they are the Medes of the old history). They have more in common with Iranians than with Saudis ( i.e they celebrate Now Ruz).
In Iraq, they have always been closer to Shias than to Sunnis who persecute them because they were no Arabs and wanted their independence.
They usually don’t attach much importance to religion and they are secular.

June 10th, 2012, 8:37 pm

 

omen said:

from the earlier telegraph article:

When he agreed to the interview with Walters in December, Miss Jaafari wrote a list of talking points advising that the “American psyche can be easily manipulated” if he were to make a limited expression of regret.

the american psyche is easily manipulated…isn’t this an admission that the entire regime narrative is one big lie?

June 10th, 2012, 9:08 pm

 

mjabali said:

MJabali I did so earlier today, please check http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=14878&cp=2#comment-313360 .

SC Moderator

Moderator release the comment i posted this morning from your jail.

June 10th, 2012, 9:11 pm

 

Tara said:

Damascus, Lattakia, Homs, Idleb, hama, Deraa, Deir el Zor..what us left? Qurdaha? 

Syrian forces bombard rebels near Latakia
Dozens are said to have been killed in fighting between government troops and rebels in Haffa area

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 10 June 2012 07.13 EDT
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/10/syrian-forces-bombard-rebels-latakia

Syrian forces have unleashed a new round of heavy shelling and sent reinforcements to a mountainous area near the coastal city of Latakia, where hundreds of rebels have set up base and which has been the scene of fierce fighting in recent days, activists say.

The fighting between government troops backed by helicopter gunships and armed groups in the area of Haffa began on Tuesday. An opposition group said at least 58 soldiers had been killed and more than 200 wounded in the operation there since.

Six children were among 10 people killed by a shell that exploded in a house where they had taken cover during the fighting in the region on Saturday, the Observatory said.

In Homs province at least 35 people have been killed in Syrian army bombardment over the past 24 hours, opposition activists said on Sunday.

The bombardment targeted opposition strongholds in the city of Homs and the nearby towns of Qusair, Talbiseh and Rastan, where Free Syrian Army rebels have been escalating attacks on army patrols, roadblocks and missile batteries, the Syrian Network for Human Rights and other opposition campaigners said.
…more

June 10th, 2012, 9:18 pm

 

mjabali said:

Tara said:

“Sunnis do not believe in making someone holy”

Wrong statement Tara. Also your link the Guardian article is weak and sensational. The true story is not in it. It is one sided for sure…What happened in al-Heffe was started by the hundreds of the fighters of the opposition. They started this fight for a purpose.

June 10th, 2012, 9:18 pm

 

mjabali said:

Sandro Loewe:

Whatever name you have for the mountains east of Lattakia is your personal preference, but for real it does not matter that much in the big picture because what matters is what the original people of that area calls it.

The Alawis never have a hand into the naming of those mountains. This is a fact. Not even under the rule of Hafez al-Assad and his son Bashar. Both wanted the Alawis to be invisible.

In school, I remember that they taught us that these mountains are part of the mountains on the Eastern part of the Mediterranean. The locals from that part of the world did not put the maps or the names.

You can call whatever derogatory name want.

As for jokes, the joke is on you mr. Loewe because you do not even know that al-Heffe that you were talking about is not in the Ansariyah mountains as you claim but in an area that is called Jabal al-Akrad, i.e the mountain of the Kurds. You said al-Heffe is in the Mountains of Ansariyah. I tell you al-Heffe is in Jabal al-Akrad.

By the way, I still did not find the area that is called Ansariyah Mountains جبال الانصارية

Any Arabic name for these mountains is foreign to these mountains.

The original population of these mountains are Alawis and Christians. A good friend of mine thinks that the Alawis were Christians before they converted into the Alawi creed.

June 10th, 2012, 9:38 pm

 

omen said:

true?

Of all the religious communities the Jews, claiming 2,500 years of history in Syria, are the oldest.

June 10th, 2012, 10:07 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Mjabali
You said that area is inhabited by Christians and Alawi,I am sure you are aware that Christians are called by some NASARA,and some call them ANSAR.Is it fair to call the mountain Alawi mountain and ignore the NASARA, even that Nasara are large percentage of population?

I am glad you admitted finally that Alawis are close to Nasara than Islam.

Bronco
Kurds are ethnic not religion, Abdelbaset Sayda is Sunni too,so to say The SNC was Sunni and now Kurds is not correct

June 10th, 2012, 10:29 pm

 

Ghufran said:

As I stated before,the regime will be most forceful in Latakia province because that area,and Tartous,is where a plan-B can be implemented if Syria gets divided along sectarian lines,do not expect the army to allow this area to become another Idleb,even if the army is stretched too thin,locals will fill the gap,for most of them it is not a fight to preserve the regime,it is a fight to survive,I spoke about villagers getting armed,this process will intensify now after turkey,Qatar and KSA decided to arm the opposition.
Without a third force separating fighting factions in hot zones,fighting will continue for months or even years,all the talks about a near collapse of the regime is part of a psych warfare,the news about the defection of “Kateebet Sawareekh” are not true also,what really happened is that a number of low ranking officers defected,they had no access to those missiles and they were never in a position to control the “buttons”.
From reading posts here,it is clear that some of you are not Syrian,and some are so detached to the point that they take their news about their own country from a pimping station like alarabiya or western press without being bothered to read what they post or try to cross match the “facts” ,this is why we need somebody like JL here and the contribution of level-headed people who are either with or against the regime,most of the posts are not worth reading unless your goal is to get entertained not informed.

June 10th, 2012, 10:36 pm

 

Observer said:

bronco graces us with his pontification about Ghalioun being a disaster.

Pray tell us what kind of glory did the Corleone family of Syria bring us but a 100 x worse disasters.

To be fair I will enumerate some of the successes of the regime in Syria in several areas:

1. It did provide for an alliance against Israel and against those Arab countries that wanted to be subservient to Israel

2. It did undermine the occupation of Iraq and help defeat the project there even though it was the Iraqis that did the heavy lifting

As for disasters;

1. 40 years of an abhorrant state of emergency that undermined the very essence of a civil society and of an idea of justice above all.

2. 40 years of deep corruption to the point that the father in a speech encouraged people to give “gifts” to civil servants for their good work.

3. 40 years of a constitution that is an affront to the very basic idea of humanity when it explicitly prohibits prosecution of security services for acts done during their official capacity

4. 40 years of complete inept economic policies that left the country devastated .

5. 40 years of repeated defeats against Israel be it in 67 or 73 or again in 82 and 86

6. 20 years of subjugating the Lebanese to daily humiliation and to institutionalized corruption to the point that the political web is now made up of similar mafiosi warlords.

7. 40 years of so called Arab solidarity and call for union only to have Syrian forces join US forces in fighting against Iraqi forces

8. 40 years of calling for freedom only to become pawns in the hands of a second rate power called Russia

9. 40 years of championing Arab nationalism only to end up an ally of a theocracy that in its first article of constitution declares that sovereignty belongs to God and that the country is to be governed through the Wellaiet Al Fagih.

10. 40 years of single family rule to the point that an entire country is now hostage to the whims of a stupid head of state and commander in chief who declares that he is not responsible for the conduct of his government and armed forces and whose brother is so brutal that he films himself surrounded by the body parts of the Sednaya prison.

At least Ghalioun resigned.

From the ….. Keeper to the saddled ……….. horse to Just another dude or adoring news network we have to put up with insults to humanity and to our intelligence.

Pathetic.

June 10th, 2012, 10:41 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Those who believe that plan B is to seperate are delusional, to the level that is clearly did not understand this revolution, Civil war is very destructive, and surviving in the mountain is different from controling the coast, they will put themselves in prison.they have to leave the big cities,like Damascus and Homs and yes Halab,and they have to be self dependent, it is true delusional idea.

June 10th, 2012, 11:21 pm

 

Juergen said:

JNA 154

I am more sceptical there will be an full forensic investigation carried out by the UN or the syrian regime. There are no experts whatsoever on the ground nor does the regime have the expertise to carry out such an investigation. The UN security council could decide and ask its member states to send their experts. The regime will surely not accept US, German, French investigators on their ground, they might accept chinese, russian and Venezoelian experts.

One other issue about the identity of those killed, there is no central name register in Syria, just the Muchtar of that village may have a record, and guess who installs such Muchtars, so it may take years and exhumations at a later stage to know sho committed this Srebrenica style event in Syria.

KDD

The story of the Krak is heartbreaking, i happen to have been to the Krak almost at every visit to Syria. There is a restaurant right accross with great local cuisine, i always chatted with the owner and his son, very gentle kurdish folks( there is a high percentage of the surrounding village of kurdish origin, since the time of Salah Aldeen-that made the arabic name: hosn al akrad)
and i was looking desperatly yesterday for his mobile number to ask what has happend, well I am still searching.

Here is a video of Christine Mueller who is now in Syria, she has crossed the Turkish Border alongside with a group of FSA soldiers. Its an honest report on the Army and especially the local commander wanted to be interviewed to show the world that AQ and Islamists arent leading the FSA.

Homsis never lost their humor

June 10th, 2012, 11:37 pm

 

Jad said:

Mina,
Finally Avaaz lie exposed, what took them this much time to expose that warmonger organization. It’s unbelievable how many organizations and liars were exposed over the Syrian bloody revo:

‎”Folks, here is a good example of what to watch out for when it comes to online propaganda. WRH has been in operation under various forms (sub-page at my animation site, then “Rancho Runamukka”, etc.) up to the present. We are just barely paying the bills. The corporate media rarely deigns to notice us. That is how real world blogs and media evolve, slowly, over time, building audience.

But when you see a purported blog or group emerge virtually overnight, well funded, being constantly quoted and referred to in the corporate media, such as a Wikileaks or an Avaaz, you have every reason to ask where they got all that cash in one lump and why the corporate media is “selling” them to you as hard as they can.”
http://whatreallyhappened.com/node/173633

Avaaz: Empire Propaganda Mill Masquerading as Grassroots Activism

‘Activism’ and ‘human rights’ foundation Avaaz blames the Houla massacre on Assad and calls for foreign intervention. A peek into the background of Avaaz explains its pro-empire position, and who is really behind it.

The ultra-shadowy Avaaz Foundation is purportedly a non-governmental organisation that seeks to(1) “close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.”

A mere three days after the Houla Massacre in Syria, while all parties were clamouring to figure out what had happened and who was responsible, Avaaz took the opportunity to speculatively blame the Assad regime as part of an online petition campaign. What is even more disconcerting is that this ‘human rights’ organisation also made a thinly-veiled call for foreign intervention – something which would undoubtedly result in astronomical human suffering.

Using emotive and crafty language,(2) Alice Jay (Avaaz’s Campaign Director) blames Assad for the Houla massacre indirectly, by alluding to the decision of several Western governments to expel Syrian diplomats:

Dozens of children lie covered with blood, their faces show the fear they felt before death, and their innocent lifeless bodies reveal an unspeakable massacre. These children were slaughtered by men under strict orders to sow terror. Yet all the diplomats have come up with so far is a few UN monitors ‘observing’ the violence. Now, governments across the world are expelling Syrian ambassadors, but unless we demand strong action on the ground, they will settle for these diplomatic half-measures.

This is immediately followed by a thinly-veiled call for an invasion of Syria by foreign powers:

The UN is discussing what to do right now. If there were a large international presence across Syria with a mandate to protect civilians, we could prevent the massacres while leaders engage in political efforts to resolve the conflict. I cannot see more images like these without shouting from the rooftops. But to stop the violence, it is going to take all of us, with one voice, demanding protection for these kids and their families. Sign the urgent petition on the right to call for UN action now and share this campaign with everyone.

The background of Avaaz sheds light on its unequivocal pro-war and anti-Syrian position.

{….}
http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/avaaz-empire-propaganda-mill-masquerading-as-grassroots-activism/

June 10th, 2012, 11:58 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

MJABALI and Sandro Loewe,

Historically this mountain range was called Bargylus (Hence the name of the Chateau Bargylus Winery) towards the south of the mountain range it is called Jabal Al-Anṣariyyah (Jabal an Nusayriyah/Jabal Nusairi) by the locals and towards the north close to Nahr El Kebeir (Eleutherus) it is called Jabal Al Akrad by the locals.

Now where exactly the magical line where the locals stop calling one and start with the other I am not sure, but I do know that both terms are topographically correct.

June 11th, 2012, 12:04 am

 

Ghufran said:

I do not know too many people who believe or want to pursue the path of division,in that sense I agree that this is not a solution and it is not good for Syria,however,when scores of people die for who they are and not of what they did,such a path may become an option,but not an easy one.
Intractable diseases may lead to desperate treatments,so said the Brits.
On a positive note,I think Syrians are less likely to enlist in death squads than their neighbors but that assumption is not comforting enough,the blood shed must end if we have to avoid this gloomy scenario.

June 11th, 2012, 12:14 am

 

Ghufran said:

It looks like the FSA lied about the killing of Aljadid TV reporter
أحال القاضي صقر صقر التحقيقات التي اجريت في الشمال في قضية مقتل المصور في تلفزيون الجديد علي شعبان ومحاولة قتل زملائه الى مفوض الحكومة لدى المحكمة العسكرية القاضي صقر صقر بحسب الصلاحية.
وقد ادعى القاضي صقر على عناصر من الجيش السوري وعلى من يظهره التحقيق أقدموا في وادي خالد على قتل المصور في “تلفزيون الجديد” الزميل علي شعبان وعلى فريق العمل الذي كان يرافقه، باطلاق النار عليهم وقتل شعبان ومحاولة قتل الاخرين قصدا، سندا الى المواد 547، 547/251 عقوبات، وأحال الادعاء على قاضي التحقيق العسكري الاول.
The FSA probably lied also about the kidnapped Lebanese pilgrims.
A possible explanation lies in the fact that the FSA is not a cohesive army with one leadership,the left hand of the FSA may not know what the right hand is doing.

June 11th, 2012, 12:35 am

 

jad said:

“Its an honest report”…..”to show the world that AQ and Islamists arent leading the FSA.”

“honest”?
They deny being ‘Islamists’ or from AQ while they still shave their mustaches and grow their beards, how believable or honest reporting is that?
Maybe that smuggled German reporter who is going around with the armed non ‘Islamist’, non ‘AQ’ terrorists and exposing herself of being caught in the dangerous game of war can tell the victims of the terrorist attacks linked to AQ that those killers are lovely, peaceful and sweet ‘angels’.
Instead I suggest for her to go ask the victims to forgive her ‘honesty’ in covering up the truth for political reasons:

a day not to forget…The terrorist attack on Al Qazaz area 10.05.2012
http://youtu.be/zGT-ZkRfSq4

Syria News 10 June. Documentary on Bombings Planned and Carried out by Al Qaeda.
http://youtu.be/R9vpDPUECeQ?t=3m16s

June 11th, 2012, 12:37 am

 

jad said:

Syria- Intercepted a call between two Terrorists – (Massacre Beheading, Al Qaeda style)
http://youtu.be/FhoZctF4z6E

June 11th, 2012, 12:41 am

 

omen said:

182. MAJEDKHALDOUN said:
There is important news,one major defection,Regiment 743,which has SAM missles has defected, they showed on Arabiyeh,those big missles and Assad planes bombarding the regiment. 7:27 pm

.

video

June 11th, 2012, 12:43 am

 

jad said:

بعد يومين من تلفيقها خبر”الأسلحة الكيماوية” في حمص ، “العربية” تلفق خبر انشقاق كتيبة دفاع جوي!؟

القناة و”ضباطها الجويون” ، ومعهم رامي عبد الرحمن، لا يعرفون التمييز بين”سام 6″ و”سام2″ أو عدد ضباط وعناصر الكتيبة وعناصرها ! وهذه هي قصة ما جرى

دبي ، الحقيقة ( خلص): بعد أقل من يومين على فبركتها قصة استخدام “اسلحة كيميائية” من قبل الجيش السوري في حمص، وهو ما ضبطناها فيه بالجرم المشهود ، أقدمت القناة نفسها يوم أمس على فبركة تقرير يزعم انشقاق كتيبة دفاع جوي في منطقة “الغنطو” القريبة من بلدة الرستن في محافظة حمص، وقد جاء تقريرها مليئا بالفضائح والكذب الذي يكشف جهلها حتى بأبجديات الموضوع الذي تتحدث عنه.
{…}
يعرف حتى رقيب ، ولا نقول أكثر، خدم في الدفاع الجوي، أن التقرير لا أساس له من الصحة ، وهو شعوذة من ألفه إلى يائه. ويقول العقيد الركن المتقاعد حسين كردي ، وهو قائد كتيبة دفاع جوي سابق، وأحد مؤسسي كلية الدفاع الجوي في حمص والمدرسين فيها إلى حين تقاعده، وأحد جرحى حرب تشرين، إن من يقرأ الخبر، وإذا ما كانت له خبرة ولو بسيطة بالمسائل التنظيمية والتقنية في الدفاع الجوي في سوريا، يكتشف في الحال أن التقرير ملفق، وتلفيقه من النوع الغبي جدا . ويورد العقيد كردي الأسباب التالية:
{…}
إليكم ما حقيقة ما جرى في الكتيبة أمس:

قام بضع عشرات ( حوالي مئة) من زعران المنطقة المسلحين ، ممن ينضوون تحت اسم ” كتائب خالد بن الوليد” و ” لواء رجال الله” التكفيريين، بالهجوم على الكتيبة على دراجات نارية ( لاحظ إحدى الدراجات النارية في حرم الكتيبة) بهدف تخريب الكتيبة وقتل عناصرها والسرقة والسطو على الأسلحة الفردية (بنادق الحراسات) ومستودع الذخيرة التابعة لها، فضلا عن سرقة أشياء أخرى كالملابس وغيرها. وقد اقتحموها بسرعة ، مستغلين عدم وجود سوى ثلاثة عناصر حراسة . وكان بعض المهاجمين يحمل عبوات ناسفة أرادوا وضعها في ” كبين القيادة” ، أي الكبين الذي يشكل الخلية العصبية الإلكترونية للكتيبة ، الذي يضم صحن الرادار وأجهزة التوجيه وما إلى ذلك ، بهدف تفجيره، فضلا عن محاولة سرقة سيارات ( لا يوجد في كتيبة الدفاع الجوي سوى عدد محدود جدا من السيارات القابل للسرقة، مثل سيارات الجيب أو سيارات الخدمة التي تنقل الطعام. وباقي السيارات كلها من النوع الثقيل الخاص جدا، الذي يستخدم لتلقيم البطاريات / منصات الإطلاق بالصواريخ). ومن المعلوم أن سلاح الدفاع الجوي أكثر الأسلحة حساسية. إذ يكفي أن تفجر عبوة ناسفة متوسطة أو حتى صغيرة في “كبين القيادة” حتى تصاب الكتيبة بالشلل وتخرج من الخدمة ، لأن “كبين القيادة” في “كتيبة الفولغا” عبارة عن عربة / مقطورة تحمل رادارا وبداخلها دارات كهربائية وإلكترونية وشاشات ملاحقة وتتبع ورمي ( شاشات ” فيغو”). وقد استغل المعتدون وجود الكتيبة في أرض زراعية إلى جانب الطريق العام ( تبعد عنه أقل مئة متر) وعدم وجود جدران أو أسلاك شائكة ، وهذه هي حال كتائب الدفاع الجوي في سوريا كلها تقريبا، لاسيما حين تكون قريبة من مناطق سكنية. فلا أحد يخطر بباله أن يقدم سفلة ورعاع على اقتحام كتيبة دفاع جوي ، مخصصة أصلا للدفاع عن البلاد ولا يمكنها لأسباب تقنية محضة أن تقوم بأي شيء آخر، من أجل تخريبها كما لو أنها موجودة في وسط إسرائيلي معادي!

العسكريون والضباط في الكتيبة تصدوا للمهاجمين وطردوهم بعد أن قتلوا منهم ما بين 50 إلى 60 مهاجما( هذه المعلومة مؤكدة تماما). وهذا هو السبب الذي لم يمكن النصابين من نشر سوى مقطع فيديو مصور بسرعة ، على طريقة اللصوص ، من الطريق العام العابر بجانب الكتيبة. وعند التدقيق في الشريط الذي بثته “القناة” سنلاحظ مجموعة زعران ( بعضهم على دراجات) يركضون داخل حرم الكتيبة كما لو أنهم مجموعة لصوص يحاولون السطو على بستان لسرقة محصوله!

هذه هي حدود القصة. نقطة انتهى.
http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/7558/Default.aspx

June 11th, 2012, 12:51 am

 
 

Juergen said:

Jad

Apparently anyone with a beard is a islamist for you right? have you visited the rural Syria?

Thank you for posting the Syrian news, I will report to the police this morning, there are way to many bearded men going to the mosque nextdoor to my home. That must be an AQ sleeper cell.

June 11th, 2012, 1:00 am

 

Halabi said:

#207
“It looks like the FSA lied about the killing of Aljadid TV reporter”

Lied about what? Ali Shaaban’s colleagues who were shot at said the fire came from the Syrian military. Now the Lebanese court will try Syrian soldiers for the killing. That’s the translation of the Arabic text in #207. What does the FSA have to do with this?

Here’s a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor that mentions the legal case and the random violence coming from Assad’s soldiers into Lebanese territory.

“Yesterday, in a rare censure of Syrian behavior, Saqr Saqr, the head of Lebanon’s military court, charged unnamed Syrian soldiers with killing Ali Shaaban, a cameraman for Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed television who died in a hail of gunfire along the border with Syria two months ago.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0608/Along-Syria-s-volatile-border-rebels-rabbits-and-ambushes

June 11th, 2012, 1:03 am

 

omen said:

Assad Regime Crumbling?

Rebel battalions in Syria successfully took over a Presidential Air Force base near the village of Rantu in the Homs district, Saudi Arabian owned network Al-Arabiya reported Sunday.

According to the report, most of the soldiers in the base defected from President Bashar al-Assad’s army after the rebels took over.

The rebels say the captured base holds anti-aircraft missile batteries. A spokesman for the Syrian opposition said that the base commander, a member of Assad’s minority Alawite sect, gave his soldiers a choice between defecting to rebel forces and going back to their homes and families, and they preferred to join the rebels.

[…]

Arabic media also reported that for the first time, a government building in Damascus has been hit. Until now, rebel forces targeted security forces installations but not government buildings. A mortar shell reportedly hit the external wall of a Syrian government building in the Kafr Susa neighborhood of Damascus. There was damage to property but no report of casualties.

June 11th, 2012, 1:17 am

 

ghufran said:

the arabic translation of saqr saqr initial indictment was accurate,I did not say that Saqr charged the FSA with the killing,I stated my own opinion,the list of the accused is likely to get bigger after investigations showed that there was a battle in the same area where Ali Shabaan was killed. The syrian army did not benefit from the killing,the other side did.
it is unlikely that the identity of the killers will be ever known,that is what happened often when journalists get caught in a cross fire,not that I think the regime is unable to kill the guy,it just does not make sense to intentionally kill Shabaan who and his station are more friendly to the regime than most Lebanese TV stations.
thanks, Halabi, for the clarification,I expect another indictment to come if the pilgrims are not released,this one will be easier to make,I hope Saqr will apply the same standards on that case.

June 11th, 2012, 1:36 am

 

Jad said:

Juergen,
A beard with shaved mustach is the signature of the salafis that is a common ritual by them, I thought that an expert would already know this basic fact.
Since you are fluent in arabic and the different Syrian dialects I’m linking again the whole documentary about the terrorist attacks by Alqaeda-like brand in Damascus, you may understand it in Arabic better and if possible could you please translate and send a copy of this documentary to that smuggled journalist, I just hope that she get back home safe:

التسجيل الكامل للوثائقي الخاص باعترافات عدد من الإرهابيين منفذي التفجيرات في دمشق و غيرها من المحافظات
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fyb6eUJuvIs
وثائقي اعترافات منفذي التفجيرات الإرهابية 9-6-2012

June 11th, 2012, 1:50 am

 

omen said:

sky news reporting from damascus (video):

Exclusive: Syrian Fighters Co-Ordinate Attack

An estimated 600 Free Syrian Army fighters were involved in a simultaneous attack on government targets from five directions around the capital Damascus, Sky News has learned.

During the operation on Friday night a bus carrying Russian oil workers was hit and rocket-propelled grenades were fired at a building that was housing them.

A civilian Syrian woman is said to have been killed in the attack on the building.

[…]

One source said “several Russian oil experts” died and others were injured, but there is no confirmation of this.

Russian fatalities have not been reported by either the Syrian or Russia media.

Eyewitnesses say they saw ambulances leaving the scene but no one could confirm if Russians had indeed died.

There are thousands of Russians in Syria, mostly technical experts working here accompanied by their families.

[…]

We heard later that the government believes Friday’s attack was by far the biggest and most organised on the capital so far and were concerned that key facilities in the city centre might also be hit.

June 11th, 2012, 1:52 am

 

Mina said:

Jad, #204
Marhaba.

June 11th, 2012, 1:53 am

 

Juergen said:

JAD

Well I focus rather on what people have in their minds than how they look.

Thank you for the video, I will have a good watch of it, 2 things are stunning, they had surveillance cameras allover the place, behind, in front of the assasin, amazing that they captured it. I find it strange though that the guy did not show his id card walking around. I think i know now why the Damascus philharmonic orchestra performs so little concerts, they seem to be busy providing the melodramatic music for productions like that. This regime really ecelled in this manner, the voice of the lady commentator, no kidding its art!

June 11th, 2012, 2:06 am

 

Jad said:

Mina
Malyon Marhaba 🙂

One of the smartest article I read so far, someone is looking for some solution and it makes lots of sense, I support most of what he suggested it’s long but full of good ideas that can be implemented if the world wants:

Searching for Solutions in Syria
By Nile Bowie

For sixteen months, the people of Syria have undergone economic hardship, tremendous human suffering and the unparalleled horrors of war. As the Syrian opposition officially abandons the ceasefire and calls for foreign intervention and the imposition of a no-fly zone [1], US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced a new transition plan that would topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, signaling the increasing possibility of intervention outside the mandate of the United Nations [2]. Following clashes between militant rebel groups and government forces that claimed the lives of 80 Syrian troops [3], rebels in Aleppo have reportedly taken 11 hostages and vowed to release them only when a new state is established [4]. While Bashar al-Assad attributes the perpetuation of Syria’s crisis to outside forces [5], Iran has expressed its readiness to mount an armed resistance against foreign military forces in Syria [6]. Regardless of who perpetrated the recent killings in Qubayr and Houla, the profoundly disturbing images of lifeless children begs the question, has the Syrian crisis reached a point of incorrigibility? 
{…}
Outside forces must be held accountable for engaging in activities that have brought the Syrian crisis to this dismal stage, namely by paying substantial penalties that can be used to temporarily resettle Syrian refugees and fund efforts to secure Syria’s borders. All efforts must be made to transition the Syrian people into a climate of normality, including the removal of economic sanctions. At this crucial stage, the Syrian government should exercise strict curfews to ensure the safety of civilians, making it more difficult for terrorist groups to operate. Even if an agreement can be reached between Bashar al-Assad and representatives of Syria’s various opposition groups, terrorists groups would likely continue to provoke violence for whatever their purpose. Until both the Syrian government and the opposition can unite under the common goal of providing security to the people of Syria, no viable political transitions can be agreed upon.

The government of Bashar al-Assad must continue to make tangible reforms that legitimize dissent and promote expression, and the Free Syrian Army must agree to gradually disarm and come to a political compromise. The implications of both foreign military intervention and the administrative usurpation of sectarian fanatics hold unacceptable consequences for the Syrian people and the entire region. Even if internal actors agree upon a solution, it will take years for the people of Syria to recover from this conflict and begin to forgive each other. If the majority of Syrian people desire a change in leadership, the world must respect their aspirations, however such a decision can only be reached once the domestic security situation has transitioned to appropriate levels by both sides respecting the ceasefire. Those individuals who value stability founded on the pillars of peace, compromise and conflict aversion must make their voices heard and stand with the Syrian people to help steer them out of these dark times, and eventually, help them heal.

http://nilebowie.blogspot.ca/2012/06/searching-for-solutions-in-syria.html

June 11th, 2012, 2:09 am

 

Osama said:

Wow, the disinformation is coming right on que, the BBC was reporting this morning that an air defense battalion has defected, but it was not in the headlines – strange?! I would have thought that would be a least a headliner, an entire battalion defecting. Right after, Mr Sayda “impressive” speech…

Here is a link:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/middleeast/2012/06/120611_syria_army_violence.shtml

The story goes on to tell us that after the defection, the AIR DEFENSE battalion, gets bombed by the Syrian Air Force – you would have thought that they would have managed fired off a couple of missiles or AA rounds. And that the FSA always has a few camera’s lying around somewhere – it would be great footage for the 6 o’clock news… if it were true…

Alarbiya (العبرية), does not say it was a defection, but says that SANA “admits” that the same air defense battalion was attacked!! (how many can their be in Al-ghinto?)

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/06/11/219904.html

So they defected and then were attacked by the FSA?!? or they were attacked and then surrendered and then they defected???

This disinformation is really hard to follow… Hay BBC/Arabiya get your lies straight first! then spread them.

By the way, I went to http://www.sana.sy, their is no statement or admission of anything related to Homs area fighting.

June 11th, 2012, 5:32 am

 

Osama said:

RE: the defection of the Air Defense battalion UPDATE

as reported by Alarbiya:

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/06/10/219798.html

Please notice that the video is two different videos spliced together. The first looks like it was taken from a very far distance at maximum zoom (with background sound like the guy was standing by the side of the road) – saying this is the greatest defection to date…

Next scene was filmed inside the site, but no mention of FSA or defection or anything… only the name of the site!

the background noise is a helicopter?!? and a man yelling at the man filming.

Highly suspicious in the best of circumstances.

If you go on to read the whole story it says that the unit “normally” has 130 men and 10 officers, 35 of which were actually on site and that 22 men and 3 officers (out of the 35) chose not to defect, leaving 8 men and 2 officers who had actually defected – assuming any of this is true.

So, according to Alarabiya, 10 men defected and the Syrian army had to call in an air strike to deal with it?!!

June 11th, 2012, 6:34 am

 

mjabali said:

Majedkhaldoun said:

“Mjabali
You said that area is inhabited by Christians and Alawi,I am sure you are aware that Christians are called by some NASARA,and some call them ANSAR.Is it fair to call the mountain Alawi mountain and ignore the NASARA, even that Nasara are large percentage of population?

I am glad you admitted finally that Alawis are close to Nasara than Islam.”

Dude: stop making things up. Where do they call the Christians Ansar? This happens only in your imagination.

Christians are called Nasara and not Ansar.

Today many militant Salafi groups have the word “Ansar” in their name and believe me if that word pointed to anything related to Christianity they would have not used it; example: , Ansar al-Shariah, Ansar al-Islam, Usbat al-Ansar, Ansar al-Mujahidin, Ansar al-Sunnah, Ansar al-Din….etc All of these are actual names of Muslim groups.

Also when you say that the Alawis are closer to Christians than Muslims you mean that the Alawis are not Muslims in your opinion. Isn’t this right?

Sunnis always considered themselves the right form of Islam. This is open to debate of course especially when you go after the history of how the Sunni creed became the official one and the one majority of Muslims follow. The Sunnis never liked to debate this of course and considered themselves the “Escaped Group,” (al-Furqa al-Najiyah الفرقة الناجية). The non-Sunnis are kicked out from their heaven. The Sunnis in this case hold they keys to paradise.

If you have said that the Alawis are closer to Christians than they are to Sunnis, I may see some truth for this because religion aside, Alawis and Christians have almost the same attitude about modern current life. Sunnis are proving that they have a different take, which does not want to include the others as you could see.

When you say that the Alawis are closer to Christians than Muslims, I see no merit in this because the Alawis consider themselves Muslim if you like it or not, with all respect to your personal opinion.

Being Christians before converting to Islam may be the case of many Muslims especially after the Muslim invasions to the land of the Christians.

Syria was a Christian place before the coming of the Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula. Now, Christians are a minority in their historical Syria. Syria was a majority Christians probably till the Ottoman invasion. This very important issue should be studied more to see when the majority of Syrians became Muslims?

June 11th, 2012, 7:06 am

 

ann said:

Kuwait Declares War On Syria From The Ottoman Border

Kuwaitis join battle against Assad – June 10, 2012

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/184293/reftab/36/t/Kuwaitis-join-battle-against-Assad/Default.aspx

KUWAIT CITY, June 10, (Agencies): Scores of Kuwaitis have crossed over into Syria via the Turkish border to take part in jihad alongside the Free Syrian Army which is fighting the Bashar Al-Assad government forces, reports Al-Qabas daily.

According to reliable sources large groups of Saudis, Algerians and Pakistanis also have crossed over into Damascus. These men are said to have reported to the local command at the liaison office where they were given the Syrian identification documents.

The sources added their original documents have been kept for safe keeping in the office. They will have to retrieve them once their mission is complete. The men are reportedly given the Syrian identification documents to avoid arrest.

The sources said these men have been armed and assigned to various provinces. The sources confirmed scores of Kuwaitis have been denied entry because they are underage.

On the other hand, the Annahar daily quoting the Lebanese newspaper ‘Al-Akhbar’ and other satellite TV news channels said that the Syrian authorities have arrested some Kuwaitis. They were caught fighting alongside the Free Syrian Army forces.

The daily added an MP from the parliamentary minority bloc plans to question the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the authenticity of the news report.

The MP also says he wants to know the number of Kuwaitis arrested and their names and what measures have been taken by the government of Kuwait in this regard.

Meanwhile, MP Nabil Al-Fadhel said the government should not intervene in any manner simply because the government did not give permission for these people to travel to Syria, particularly since the area has been declared a war zone.

Al-Fadhel added these fighters or Mujahideen as they call themselves should take responsibility for their actions because they went to Syria of their own accord to fight without government knowledge.
Al-Fadhel pointed out these people should have learned a lesson when some MPs went to the Syria-Turkey border and returned without entering Syria.

Al-Fadhel says he deeply sympathizes with the families of the Kuwaitis who are allegedly detained by the Syrian authorities — if it is true.

He added that these families should hold responsible those who deceived and brainwashed their children and lured them to go to Syria.

He called for these people to be tried and punished.

[…]

June 11th, 2012, 7:13 am

 

Tara said:

When is Bashar flying to his crime scenes again?   The FSA through the defected battalion possesses a surface to air missile.  

Video, backed by satellite photographs, has emerged that appear to show a Syrian air base being attacked after a battalion, armed with surface-to-air-missiles, defected to the opposition.

Human Rights Watch has obtained images from DigitalGlobe that show the base near Rastan in Homs province, burning after the reported attack.

It appears to confirm video footage from activists showing smoke rising from the base.

The soldiers, who defected from the base, joined rebels in nearby Rastan and Talbiseh, according to activists. Rastan was bombarded today according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

After the defection, video emerged purporting to show surface-to-air-missiles in the hands of the rebels.

Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, said this footage appeared to show SA-2 surface-to-air missiles. He said that in the current context of the fighting in Syria this type of missile does not present the same danger of proliferation as the smaller, shoulder-launched versions, like the SA-7 that was common in Libya. But he added: “It is of course possible that shoulder-launched versions were also present at the base.”

Another clip from activists purports to show munitions being carried away from the base.

more….
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/jun/11/syria-crisis-snc-urges-defections#block-3

June 11th, 2012, 7:45 am

 

Dawoud said:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/world/middleeast/syrian-conflict-cracks-carefully-polished-image-of-assad.html?_r=1&hp

Syria’s Assads Turned to West for Glossy P.R.
By BILL CARTER and AMY CHOZICK

For some journalists, Syria has been one of the least hospitable countries in the Middle East, a place where reporters — if they can get in — are routinely harassed and threatened as they try to uncover the repression that has propped up the Assad government for decades.
[…]

June 11th, 2012, 7:50 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Duse Mjabali
How many times I told that you need to improve your knowledge? and you still talking not understanding what you say, may be your mother language was not Arabic, may be you don’t know Arabic, do you know how Christians were called Nasara, and some times Ansar?, do you know the difference between the Word Nasara, and Ansar?Do you know what Nasara means in Arabic.
Dude , you need to understand Arabic,and stop that juice.

June 11th, 2012, 8:07 am

 

Dawoud said:

188. SALAH ADDIN

Brother Salah (unlike the well-known regime apologists here, I put it in my favorable category):

NasrIllat’s loss of his son while resisting Zionists’ colonial occupation in the Lebanese south DOES NOT give him the right to defame the martyrs of the ongoing Syrian revolt. Hamza al-Khateeb, who was murdered and tortured by Bashar’s Shabiha state, deserves no less respect/glorification than Nasrillat’s son. Hizbistan has lost ALL in respect as far as most Arabs are concerned for two reasons:

1)its Shabiha have been assisting Bashar’s dictatorial regime, which is proven not only by activists’ videos, but also by leaked Syrian gov’t documents.

2)Hizbistan has unleased a massive media propaganda campaign to defend the Syrian Shabiha state and to DEFAME the courageous Syrian revolutionaries. Robert Fisk and the NYT (as I commented and posted a few days ago on this blog) wrote on how Nasrillat’s media (e.g., al-Manar) and supporters have been using similar vocabulary as those used by the Israeli occupiers. For example, they claim that the Syrian demonstrators use civilian “human shield,” which is 100% borrowing for the Zionist occupiers.
3)Every time you watch Arab media you find most of Bashar’s propagandists from Lebanon and supporters of Hizbistan. Their language is preposterously outrageous in their propaganda defense of Syria’s dictatorship, which is the worst in modern Arab history. Raping Syrian women, as the regime has done, is something that even the Zionist colonial regime has not done to the Palestinians! Shame on them and their apologists.

Finally, as a word about history, please remember that Mousa al-Sadr (the one who was unjustly imprisoned by al-Qadhafi) was no fan of the Palestinians and their resistance. He died while seeking money and arms from Libya, which he wanted to use to arm his Amal movement in order to fight the Palestinians. Most Shi’a residents of South Lebanon, as I saw them on Israeli televsision (I was pre-teen in 1982) welcomed the invading Israeli army. They thought that they were their liberating allies. They wanted them to destroy the Palestinian resistance. However, Israel was dump enough to put its colonial ambitions first, and it stayed in S.Lebanon 18 years longer. This made it personal for NasrILlat and his Shi’a community. They were fighting to save their land and dignity. All Arabs supported them. However, their fight against Israel does not give them the right to resist Syrians’ struggle for justice and dignity.
To be continued in the future as I have to go to work…..!

June 11th, 2012, 8:11 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Ann
I think you meant Kuwaitis, not Kuwait

June 11th, 2012, 8:37 am

 

ann said:

ANN Respect the rules of the site and DO NOT copy articles in its entirety, you have been warned numerous times by the former Moderator and twice by me, if you continue to do so I will left with no choice but to place you under Moderation.

SC Moderator

Syria not alone in killing civilians – June 11, 2012

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/105798-syria-not-alone-in-killing-civilians

As the violence intensifies and Syria hurtles ever closer to a full-out civil war, the usual suspects in the western media are beating the war drums and demanding a military intervention.

Spurring on the editorial comments calling for immediate air strikes in support of the Syrian rebels and political cartoons depicting Syrian, Russian and Chinese officials dancing on a mound of dead Syrian civilians are comments from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claiming that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is “doubling down on brutality.”

To give credibility to the rebels’ version, Britain’s Daily Telegraph has posted a video clip on its website entitled “Syria: Houla massacre captured on amateur video.” The descriptive caption advises viewers that these are “horrifying images in an amateur video uploaded to a social media website believed to show the massacre in Houla, Syria, where one hundred people were killed.”

Anxious to see some first-hand verification of the rebels’ allegations, I watched the entire clip. The extremely grainy and jumpy footage depicts an explosion, a resulting dust cloud, some screaming and someone shouting “Allah Akbar!” (God is great.)

The shaky phone camera then moves to a blurry image of a man on the ground bleeding from what appears to be a leg wound. There is more shouting, more Allah Akbar cries, and it appears that the wounded or dead individual is placed in the back seat of a car that speeds away.

[…]

June 11th, 2012, 8:40 am

 

bronco said:

Observer

Ghaliun leadership a disaster?

In view of the pathetic state of the SNC, scrambling to survive by playing the Kurdish card with the hope of rallying Northern Iraq Kurds, as well as Turkish and Syrians kurds, I reiterate that the SNC and its leadership have been a curse to Syria and that Ghaliun and his clique bear an enormous responsibility in the failure of the opposition peaceful movement and the death of Syrians in both side. If someone is to blame for triggering a civil war, it’s more the SNC, supported by extremist islamists, than the secular regime.

If you don’t call that a leadership disaster, I wonder what a disaster is.
I hope you don’t expect the new SNC leader to repeat Ghaliun’ s ‘successes’

June 11th, 2012, 9:48 am

 

Syrialover said:

We read that the US is gathering evidence and monitoring regime attacks by surveillance drones.

Now we hear that Assad is using small drones to help direct his shelling of civilian areas.

Assad likes small drones? I hope he’s reading this:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-kamikaze-drone-20120611,0,3893056.story

June 11th, 2012, 2:43 pm

 

Syrialover said:

I feel the shock, the terror, the frantic desperation of people being relentlessly shelled by their own “government”.

For those who survive, the trauma and nervous shock will badly affect them for the rest of their lives.

This is the proud work of the ugly cowards, lazy, mindless thugs, the vicious killers Assad and his gang.

Let’s hope their own end does not come instantly and they, their wives and children experience a long, deafeningly loud siege and shelling without food, water or medical help.

June 11th, 2012, 3:26 pm

 

Osama said:

Annan: Russia, West agree on transition government for Syria

http://www.rt.com/news/syria-summit-geneva-annan-115/

lets see how it plays out from here – the SNC and the opposition is adamant that they will not join any government which has President Assad as its leader, maybe that’s why Saida has been quite…

There are a thousand things that can go wrong, Annan’s plan was already quite vague. This will now force a split of the opposition into the open, if they all stick with their one and only policy, “get rid of Bashar”, and don’t agree to this revised Annan Plan, they will be blamed for its failure, if some parts of the opposition agree to join the transitional government, they will be branded as traitors by the rest of the opposition or worse become targets for the killers, and will they in turn join the government in condemning the terrorists?!?!

The Russians must have made it clear to Hillary that they will not lose Syria and the noises coming out of the West in recent days – worries about extremists within the opposition – may be a signal that they are not willing to see it through.

Also of interest in RIA Novosti an article quoting Lavrov saying that they have evidence that the Turkish F-4 fighter was in fact in Syrian air space and not in International waters when it was shot down.

The next few days will be telling…

June 30th, 2012, 3:51 pm

 

Shaykh Adnan Araour is not the Imam of the Revolution, but he is certainly part of it. | Free Halab said:

[…] the issue with the addition of “supporters of Assad” to “Alawite” and linked to the MEMRI version which for some reason also mentions Alawites in a general sense, in a quote no less. It’s […]

June 27th, 2013, 9:38 pm

 

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